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prototype UAV airframes

2011- 2014 FanWing OHS Twin-Tail: A new twin-tail Outboard Horizontal Stabilizer (OHS) configuration has now been successfully flight tested by Pat Peebles and pilot Raffaele Moreschini with resulting improvements in both efficiency and stability. Exploiting the updraft from the wing tip  (as geese do in their V formation flight), the radical change in design was based on a suggestion by former Principal Concepts Engineer for BAe, George Seyfang. Figures calculated from onboard logging demonstrate an increase in lift efficiency of between 10 and 15%. 

OHS test flights



December 2009    600 kg UAV: projected images for short-haul cargo

Artwork by Adrian Mann

Preliminary specifications   

Empty weight

300 kg


600 kg


10 m

Wing loading

60 kg/m2

Rotor span

8 m

Rotor diameter

50 cm


2 X 40 hp

Flight speed

40 kt IAS (60 at 6000 m)

System efficiency

25 g/w at flying speed








2008/9    Surveillance

Dry weight           6 kg

MTOW               12 kg

Rotor span           1.6 m

Flight speed          8 - 15 m/sec

Engine                  electric  1.2 kW

Construction         composite

Autonomy             80 minutes  (design goal)

Payload                2 kg 

Flight video from ParcAberporth 2008



2002-2004       SMART-Murch prototype modified  with a 35 cc Honda engine

See specifications of this prototype below

         Slightly reduced lift on this test but lower sound

35 cc 4 cycle gasoline engine confirming fuel consumption @ 500g per hour  Video clips 8.5 mb 


                                                                                                Short video clips from same flight (5 mb)


FanWing UAV Prototype (with pilot Raffaele Moreschini)

Test flight with suspended lead payload (10kg)


FanWing UAV Prototype Development

The Murch/SMART UK government co-funded UAV model is now flying under RC control and engaged in ongoing weight tests, still open ended but with present payload now at 12kg. 

It is clear that the new FanWing technology lift efficiency improves with upscaling. The company are keen to exploit the possibilities with a larger prototype which will not only act as a high-lift commercial  UAV airframe but also provide essential research data for the future manned ultralight.

Achieved and Projected  Milestones

First (SMART) Phase (completed end of 2003): production of a viable long-endurance (> 8 hours) slow-flying manoeuvrable surveillance airframe.

Second Phase: ongoing payload flight tests with onboard surveillance equipment

Projected Third Phase: construction of a new prototype airframe to carry 60 kg of useful payload, with a flight duration of 12 hours controlled by an autonomous flight-control computer.

Specifications of First/Second Phase UAV Prototype

Empty weight                                   


Rotor span                                      


Flight speed

Take off distance @ 18 Kg              


8 kg

20 kg

 2.2 m

11.5 cc glow engine

7-15 m/sec

 20 m

To be determined*

*A new engine will be installed shortly which will use approximately 500 g. of fuel per hour providing 8 hours of autonomy with 4 kg in fuel, leaving 6 kg for electronic payload.        

Early UAV  Prototype Flight Clips (October 2003) with first experiments in surveillance



Preliminary Specifications for Projected Third Phase UAV

Empty weight


Rotor Span


Flight speed

Loiter speed

Onboard generator

Flight control system

 80 kg

 200 kg  

 7 m

 UEL 741 engine

 25 m/sec

 12 m/Sec

 3 kW

 To be determined