The FLAVIIR project is a 5 year research programme looking at technologies for future unmanned air vehicles (UAV) funded jointly by BAE SYSTEMS and EPSRC.
Managed from Cranfield University and including 9 other University partners, the programme covers all the key aspects of the next generation UAV from an aeronautical point of view.
The focus for the research is the “Grand Challenge” laid down by BAE Systems:
To develop technologies for a maintenance free, low cost UAV without conventional control surfaces and without performance penalty over conventional craft
Alongside the research into individual technologies themselves, the FLAVIIR project will also deliver a flying demonstrator vehicle for these new advances, thus applying the research methodology to the integration phase and providing direct experience and evidence of real performance benefit.
The £6.2M funding has been nominally split into a 3 year research phase followed by a 2 year demonstration phase, although with technology integration being treated as a research topic in its own right this boundary is necessarily blurred.
The technical research has been split into 7 themed areas; Aerodynamics, Control systems, Electromagnetics, Manufacturing, Materials/Structures, Numerical simulation and Integration.