Research at USU underway to design new military aircraft

Utah State University faculty member Dr. Doug Hunsaker is starting a three year study in aerodynamics research aimed at developing the next generation of military aircraft.

He said tomorrow’s combat aircraft will be more efficient and quieter and will likely have no tails. Really?

”Yep, that’s right. That’s what the Navy is pushing for, really the whole Department of Defense,” Dr. Hunsaker exclaims. “One of the biggest reasons is that it produces a smaller radar cross-section. So they are more stealthy.”

The plan for the first two years of research is set.

”We will be doing a lot of computer simulations, a lot of the analytical development of these relationships between controllability and geometry of the aircraft.

“Then the final year we actually hope to build a demonstrator, so this will be a small drone-sized aircraft, maybe eight or ten-foot wingspan that will demonstrate this technology. We’ll be able to fly it and basically show off that we were able to control this aircraft without a tail.”

Hunsaker’s research is supported by a $510,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research.

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