Long Discarded VTOL Concepts Revived in Unmanned Systems

Flight Global Test Frontline Aerospace VSTAR
July 13, 2010

The V-STAR mock-up designed by Colorado-based Frontline Aerospace was displayed in booth 1435. Sized at full-scale in the same category as the AD-150, the V-STAR would be powered by two Rolls-Royce Model 250 engines.

The engines drive one ducted fan in the centre of the V-shaped fuselage for vertical lift and an aft-mounted ducted fan for horizontal thrust. A diamond box wing is incorporated to provide lift without interfering with the ducted fan installed inside the fuselage. Frontline’s V-STAR is designed for the emerging requirement for an autonomous resupply capability, says company founder Ryan Wood. The company has flown a quarter-scale model.

The autonomous resupply mission is driving both small and large companies to look for new ways to deliver VTOL capability. As the navy considers its requirements, early interest is focusing on new unmanned systems that provide dramatically more endurance without sacrificing payload.