US military developing radical ‘tail-sitter’ drone that lands anywhere
PHOTO: US Navy and US federal government/ Mail Online
The design for a flying-wing tail sitter drone which lands on its tail, has been revealed by the Northrop Grumman Corporation in the United States.
The drone, which the company says does not require a runway to land, has the ability to land anywhere on its tail.
The design is part of Northrop’s proposal for the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Tern programme.
According to FlightGlobal, DARPA plans to ink a contract in January to build and fly a full-scale prototype from a barge or decommissioned navy ship, says Chris Hernandez, senior vice-president of research, technology and advanced design for Northrop.
Northrop’s tail sitter design includes a set of large counter-rotating propellers covering almost two-thirds of a roughly 9.14m (30ft)-diameter wingspan and it carries weapons and sensors as stores underneath the wing, reveals Hernandez.