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1/2 Scale X-56 Project Flies!

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1/2 Scale X-56 Project Flies!

Postby curt » Wed May 08, 2019 3:31 am

I'm super excited about what we did today. Successful maiden flight of a U of MN project that has been in the works for more than 2 years. This is officially (by far) the biggest and heaviest aircraft I've [RC] piloted. It is a 1/2 scale X-56 with precisely scale external lines. It has a 14' wing span, all composite construction, twin EDF's for power, just shy of 40 lbs. We have a brand new winch launch system that we were also maidening today. I made a video that shows more of the airplane, the winch, the launch, and the flight. For anyone curious, the purpose of this project is to collect real world data on flexible wings and develop anti-flutter control strategies. Each wing has 6 control surfaces (plus two motors and retractable landing gear) so that's what 15 channels? Because of the amount of sensors all through the airframe, this system is way beyond the capability of a pixhawk so we developed our own modular/expandable flight control (and data collection) system based on the teensy boards and a beaglebone as the main flight computer. I could talk for paragraphs here, but instead let me just show the video:

The landing smacked in a little hard! I was full up elevator and had plenty of airspeed, but not much happened. We touched down at about 7 mps (15-16 mph) above our predicted stall speed. (At times during the flight we were safely flying slower than our touchdown speed.) I think for the next flight we need to boost the up elevator throws a bit. The flight consisted of some basic checkouts, dialing in full flaps slowly and then dialing them back out, dialing in full wing shaping inputs and then back out, and then we did one run where we wiggle the control surfaces in a specific way and measure the response of the aircraft. If you hear "joker" in the video, that's our flight test code for hitting low battery. We set the mark very conservatively so we could do a couple go arounds if needed, but I got her in on the first try. Anyway, did I mention I was super excited. These are the moments! :)
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Re: 1/2 Scale X-56 Project Flies!

Postby wlbragg » Wed May 08, 2019 4:15 am

Wow, if that doesn't look like fun! Congrats!
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