In a significant technological feat, the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO) has conducted a successful flight trial of the Autonomous Flying Wing Technology Demonstrator, a high-speed flying wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). This demonstration took place at the Aeronautical Test Range (ATR) in Chitra Durga, Karnataka, showcasing India’s prowess in cutting-edge UAV technology.
In a noteworthy accomplishment, the independent and furtive Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) innovated by DRDO’s Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE) has attained a substantial breakthrough by mastering controls for the flying wing configuration. This triumphant tailless configuration flight positions India among the select group of nations that have realized such a feat.
The UAV’s initial flight occurred in July 2022, followed by six subsequent flight trials executed in various developmental configurations, utilizing two domestically crafted prototypes. These efficacious flights served as affirmations for the establishment of a resilient aerodynamic and control system, amalgamated Real-Time and Hardware-in-loop Simulation, and an avant-garde Ground Control Station.
Constructed from lightweight carbon prepreg composite material developed domestically, the prototype of the aircraft showcases an intricate arrowhead wing platform. The utilization of composite structures infused with fiber interrogators for health monitoring emphasizes India’s autonomy in aerospace technology.
An extraordinary capability exhibited during the trials was the self-regulated landing of the high-speed UAV, negating the necessity for ground radars, infrastructure, or a pilot. This autonomy facilitates the initiation and completion of take-off and landing from any runway with surveyed coordinates, accomplished through the amalgamation of onboard sensor data and indigenous satellite-based augmentation using GAGAN receivers. This innovative stride significantly augments the precision and integrity of GPS navigation, marking a pivotal progression in UAV technology for India.