Penguin C drone hides rotors in flight for efficiency boost
UAV Factory has rolled out its new Penguin C Mk2 VTOL pilot-less rotorcraft, which increases flight efficiency thanks to automatic hoods that stow away the lift rotors when not in use. The company says its new Aeroflow boom technology reduces drag in horizontal flight, increasing flight endurance by 20 percent.
Giving an aircraft vertical lift gives it a lot more flexibility. But having the ability to take off and land like a helicopter and fly horizontally like a fixed-wing airplane introduces its own problems. Unless the craft incorporates tilt-rotor technology or something similar where the lift rotors do double duty, the idle blades will merely create additional drag, making the craft less efficient and reducing flight endurance.
The Penguin C gets around this by incorporating composite material booms with mounted rotors. When not in use, the rotors lock in parallel with the booms and hoods close to make the assembly much more aerodynamic. Though the booms increase the weight of the Penguin C to 70.6 lb (32 kg), which places it in the Group 3 UAS category, they also help give it an endurance of over 14 hours using batteries that can be replaced in under two minutes, and a payload capacity of 9.9 lb (4.5 kg).
Having already completed over 600 flight tests in a number of environmental conditions, the Penguin C Mk2 VTOL can handle takeoff and landing in winds up to 30 kt (34 mph, 55 km/h) and can operate in temperatures from -40 °C to 50 °C (-40 °F to 122 °F).
The complete Penguin C system is made up of three or more drones and high-performance Electro-Optical/Infra-Red (EO/IR) Epsilon Gimbals, a Ground Control Station, and a MIMO tracking antenna. Other payloads can include a cooled MWIR thermal imager with a 15x optical zoom and long-range 90x zoom with 4K resolution set in a swap-out nose cone with roll-axis gyro-stabilization.
The video below introduces the Penguin C Mk2 drone.
Source: UAV Factory