The Samara is an electrically powered stop-rotor converting vehicle that combines the slow flying, hover, and vertical ascent capabilities of rotary wing operation with the fast, efficient flight of fixed wing aircraft. A pair of single-blade, rotary/fixed wing panels is attached at the roots to separate coaxial shafts. For low-speed flight the wing panels are driven as contra-rotating rotors for lift. Differentially tilting propellers provide thrust and control in all flight conditions. For fixed wing flight the wing panels are stopped opposite each other to become a conventional wing. This configuration eliminates the airflow reversal over the wing that occurs upon conversion in other stop-rotor designs. A 300-gram radio controlled vehicle with a single pusher propeller and conventional control surfaces has been flight-tested. A revised configuration, which resembles a canard airplane in its fixed-wing flight mode and employs tilt propellers, is now in development. Samara will provide a small, maneuverable sensor platform for confined urban environments.

Sponsors: ONR
Program type: 6.2 Exploratory Development
Years: 2002-Ongoing