We are making quick progress on design, feature, and purpose ideas for our new autonomous concept aircraft. After sketching 4 possible models of planes that we could build, we have decided on one design that we are currently building out of insulation foam. After testing this much simplified version of our plane, we will propose changes that should be made to the design which should improve our final product.
The design we selected for our concept plane (picture of the sketch is attached, and more to come) can be described as a blended wing body aircraft. The plane has a wide front that narrows towards the back and looks similar to a raindrop shape. We will use one vertical stabilizer, 2 winglets (one for each wing), and one propeller for the rear of the aircraft. To add increased stability to our aircraft, we hope to include canards at the front of our fuselage; they may have to be removed if they don't seem to aid in the stabilization of the plane.
We are designing this specific plane to fly autonomously utilizing the ArduPilot Mega. With this feature, our concept plane could have practical, everyday applications. If real, our plane would come in many variations: an autonomous multi-personed taxi for short flights, an autonomous cargo deliverer, or an autonomous sight seeing vehicle. Although our model can not have any solar panels on it due to material limitations, this option would be kept available for any companies interested in utilizing the new plane. We hope that our design incorporate fuel efficiency so the jet is more appealing and reputable to aircraft companies.