Conceptual Design Of A Ducted Fan-Based Vertical Take Off And Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle

Broomfield, Colorado, January 22, 2009 – Frontline Aerospace, Inc., has released its detailed paper presented to the American Helicopter Society (AHS) describing the company’s breakthrough tactical unmanned aerial vehicle known as V-STAR.

“It was an honor for AHS to invite us to discuss Frontline’s V-STAR this week in Scottsdale, AZ, at the International Specialist’s Meeting on Unmanned Rotorcraft Systems,” said Frontline CEO Ryan Wood.

“This puts us in company with presenters such as the advanced concepts staff of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, various elements of the U.S. Army, Naval Research Laboratory, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Georgia Institute of Technology, Pennsylvania State University, University of Maryland and others who are advancing unmanned systems,” Wood noted.

The paper released to AHS for publication discusses Frontline’s innovative configuration providing V-STAR with unparalleled payload flexibility throughout a range of missions – including rapid delivery of critical combat supplies, intelligence and surveillance, communications and close combat support.

V-STAR (VTOL-Swift Tactical Aerial Resource) employs a ducted fan for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL); placement of payload at the center of gravity to allow rapid change-out in the field; a diamond box wing for rapid forward flight; and in-flight wing planform modifications for extended range.

V-STAR incorporates two Rolls-Royce Model 250 engines, ensuring ample power and survivability. Frontline will also incorporate its MicroFire gas turbine recuperator for the Rolls-Royce engines to provide exceptional endurance and fuel savings.

“We will introduce MicroFire at Heli-Expo 2009 in Anaheim in late February,” said Wood, “and we anticipate important partner announcements at that time, as well.”

The paper’s co-author and presenter with Wood was Jonathan Keith, Engineer and Managing Member of Frontline contractor Empirical Systems Aerospace of Pismo Beach, CA. Empirical Systems is a conceptual aircraft design firm whose other work includes detailed designs and tools completed for Boeing and NASA.

Also credited in the paper are:

  • V-STAR configurator Darold Cummings, retired Boeing Technical Fellow, former chief of exploratory concepts for Boeing Phantom Works, Empirical Systems advisor and Frontline Aerospace Advisory Board member;
  • Dave Hall, head of DHC Engineering, former Lockheed and NASA Ames aircraft designer/chief configurator, and former adjunct associate professor of aerospace engineering at California Polytechnic State University; and
  • Rick Foch, senior scientist for the Naval Research Laboratory, with 40 UAV designs to his credit.

Conceptual Design of a Ducted Fan-Based Vertical Take Off and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (686.9 KiB)