Japanese UAV - single ducted fan

A UAV developed by the Japanese Ministry of Defence. The video's in Japanese unfortunately, but it does show some interesting concepts that I don't believe have been seen in many drones before.

The principle new concept is the single ducted fan that it appears to use. Unfortunately it's covered up in the close ups, but it appears to use thrust vectoring for stability and control. At the end (last 20 seconds or so) there's a video of the vehicle in flight, which clearly shows the four vectoring boxes twitching away.

Is a single ducted fan a viable method for a UAV? I understand that ducted fans have greater efficiencies than open propellers do, but do you think the extra weight of the duct would counteract that advantage? It's obviously something that works for these guys, and it'd be interesting to see how the concept could translate into DIY vehicles.
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  • If japan has tried it, you better believe we've done it a few times too, already hehehe. The following is one of the better single-duct uav's ive seen.

    private sector project : honeywell's UAV

    pretty neat, and performs must better than the japanese one. also capable of launch & land in high winds, plus up to 60mph flights.

    all issues can be dealt with, and honeywell has really made a nice piece!
  • Carrying the weight high leads to a stable hover, but creates issues in high speed forward flight.
  • Developer
    Below another video about the flight capabilities of the ducted fan Coanda effect UAV in action...

    Coanda effect UAV flight demo 2 from Jean-Louis Naudin on Vimeo.

    Regards, Jean-Louis
  • Developer
    Hello, have you seen this:

    Coanda effect UAV demonstration from Jean-Louis Naudin on Vimeo.

    Regards, Jean-Louis
  • the fan looks quite wide though, not your average high speed narrow screamer.

    plus the duct shields the prop well, looks safer to operate near people than say a heli
  • Kind of like: Hovereye® VTOL UAV

  • Single ducted fan Single ducted fan and a bunch of servos and other moving parts.

    Ducted fans in this sense (small highspeed prop in a can) have lower efficiency than large props (ducted or not) - every time you double your RPMs (to generate the same thrust) your efficiency goes down to a half. Their place is in high-speed flight applications, not stationary hovering.

    Nice looking aircraft they got there though.
  • It looks similar in principle with RQ-16 T-Hawk from Honeywell, although by carrying the weight higher it should be more stable. The V-Bat VTOL UAV from MLB is similar in a way (it was featured in the DIY drones podcast also).
    These single ducted fan concepts are a bit complicated and bulky, I think the AESIR concept that uses the coanda effect is much better. Their website is under construction but you can see a small presentation and comparison with the 'conventional' ducted fan uas here: AESIR 'flying saucer' UAV
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