Freewing Scorpion UAV
The Scorpion is a short range UAV that applies the Freewing principle to allow the wing to remain at a constant angle of attack throughout its operating environment. The benefits of this configuration include stall resistance, improved gust response characteristics, and enhanced longitudinal stability. This configuration gives the various sensors excellent stability, particularly during low level operations in turbulent air.
The tilt-body arrangement also allows the Scorpion UAV to follow very steep launch and recovery profiles, by the tilting of the thrust vector. This will be especially helpful when trying to launch or recover the UAV from a confined area or for operation on board marine vessels in rough seas. Because of its insensitivity to turbulence and gusts the Scorpion UAV can operate in conditions that would not be considered practical with existing UAV configurations.
Scaled Composites worked directly with Freewing Aerial Robotics in the development of the tilt-body configuration. Included was the tail planform design, landing gear design, and the development of new airfoil sections optimized to provide maximum lift with minimum drag. Outboard mounted elevons are used for pitch and roll control.
Scaled fabricated the all-composite airframe, installed the Rotax propulsion system, integrated the flight control systems, and supported the flight test program. The results of the initial tests, as well as tests of smaller-scale versions of the Scorpion previously builtand tested by Scaled, were promising.