Experimental Results for a Straight Tapered Flying Wing with Bell-Shaped Lift Distribution

Jonathan S. Richter, Jason B. Woodring, Ramesh K. Agarwal

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


A glider using a bell shaped lift distribution and a proverse yaw control scheme was designed to gather atmospheric data on Mars. The flight conditions for the glider on Mars were Mach 0.6 and a Reynolds’s number of approximately 25000. The glider was designed with no vertical surfaces to allow for efficient stacking of multiple gliders. The glider’s airfoils were designed in XFoil to achieve a glide ratio of approximately 10 while maintaining control authority within angles of attack of-5 to 7 degrees. Under these conditions, the glider would achieve a range of approximately 50 km if launched from 5 km in altitude. The control scheme was validated in AVL, and AVL was used to find the optimal size for all control surfaces. A preliminary prototype of the glider was built and flown. It could carry a payload 1.5kg on Mars and 0.5kg on Earth. In flight testing the model was verified to be controllable and stable with no vertical surfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
ISBN (Print)9781624106354
StatePublished - 2022
EventAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum - Chicago, United States
Duration: Jun 27 2022Jul 1 2022

Publication series

NameAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum


ConferenceAIAA AVIATION 2022 Forum
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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