• Prototype in flight at the Southampton Air Show
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The design of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capable of landing on water
Group Members
Jaynil Chandracante, Adam Chang, Jonathan Mills, Ryan Prasad, Samuel Tyrrellw
Professor Andrew Keane
In the arctic UAVs are launched from land or ship for surveillance purposes. Retrieving the UAV from open water is a substantial risk to the safety of crew involved. It is hoped that a flying boat UAV can form the basis of a UAV capable of water operation to make it less challenging to retrieve the UAV.

With a budget of £700, we set out to design a UAV that can safely land and taxi on water. A single fuselage with floats configuration was selected to minimise weight and cost.

Wing analysis was conducted via XFLR5, a tool to analyse different wing parameters and performance. Finite Element Analysis was utilised to test carbon spar and clamp dimensions in the tail, fuselage and wings. The floats have in-built wheels which allows operation on land. This preliminary design formed our Mark 1 UAV.

The Mark I UAV was tested in the R.J. Mitchell wind tunnel where lift and drag data were analysed. This data helped form the Mark 2 UAV, where wing, fuselage and tail dimensions were all subsequently updated and re-sized.

The Mark II UAV was tested at the towing tank at Boldrewood. Adequate buoyancy was confirmed. The rudders utilise the wake from the ducted fan to yaw the UAV on water providing steering capability. Mark II has made two successful flights, reflecting its good stability in the air and capability of low-approach landings and take-off.
Prototype in flight at the Southampton Air Show