Advanced Aircraft Company (AAC), a developer and manufacturer of distributed electric propulsion tilt-wing and multi-rotor uncrewed aircraft vehicles (UAV) has announced it has secured a contract from NASA to design and build tilt-wing prototype uncrewed aerial vehicles according to NASA specifications.
“Advanced Aircraft Company is proud and humbled to design and build tilt wing prototypes for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration,” said Paul Allen, CEO of AAC. “This contract further solidifies AAC as the global leader in tilt-wing configuration uncrewed aircraft.”
AAC will develop an aero-activated tilt-wing configuration that removes the weight and complexity of a mechanically actuated tilt-wing aircraft for increased reliability and payload capacity, according to a company statement. “The aircraft fuselage and wing bodies will incorporate 3D printed materials and aluminum alloys for low weight, high strength, and durability while also enabling rapid prototyping and limited-scale manufacturing.”
“Aero-activated tilt wing configurations offer benefits over conventional configurations but also introduce significant design challenges,” said Bill Fredericks, founder and CTO of AAC. “Careful design of the center of mass location of the wing body, aerodynamic center of the wing body, and attachment points to the fuselage are critical for establishing a stable equilibrium point to ensure safe and reliable operation.”
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(Image: the images are taken from the patent filing. Please note that although AAC Founder and CTO Bill Fredericks is the inventor, the patent is owned by NASA)