Autonomous hovercraft platform for the take off and landing of UAVs

15 January 2014

Back to 1983

Снимок экрана 2014-12-09 в 18.51.28

Antonov AN-14Sh was built in 1983 as an experimental aircraft, which used a hovercraft instead of traditional chassis. The airplane rode 700 km on ground and concrete runways (with 150 operating hours). As a result, the design demonstrated a number of positive properties.

Amphibious all-terrain vehicle

Two “Arctic-2DK” ships were delivered to the port of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy in January 2013. They were produced in Omsk (Russia) and can reach 120 km/h above the ground and up to 80 km/h above the water.  These ships can carry 2 persons + 2000 kg of cargo. Sizes of the ship for transportation: L 10,4 m, W 2,4 m, H 1,85 m. 

Independent Assistant

Although pilots of C-130J Super Hercules or Antonov AN-74T-200A consistently demonstrate their skills and technological  capabilities of their “flying SUVs” while taking off and landing on ice or swamped  soil, there is still a huge list of constraints for landing conditions of these airplanes. Moreover, you need a professional investigation of the landing site and preparation works. If you need to launch a UAV weighing more than 1,000 kg, it is also launched from the runway with the only exception of using large and heavy missile-type launch systems as Tupolev TU-141 “Strizh” Eng.Swift has. This forces military customers to invest heavily in helicopter-type UAVs, however, it will be impossible to solve a range of problems that emerge in the military zone or during peaceful missions without UAV airplanes.  The production of new mobile high-speed hovercraft vessels provides new opportunities for the development of UAV systems.

Cheap and easy

The main feature of the AHP platform is synchronisation of the parameters of moving UAV and the starting platform in automatic mode (speed and direction of movement). UAV is installed at the platform and fixed with special latches on the chassis. Once the UAV reaches an appropriate speed, the latches open and the aircraft take off. During the landing, the remote synchronisation of the hovercraft platform’s movement with the UAV parameters (at the height of 30-40 meters and lower). After the confirmation of a remote grab of the UAV with a laser system of mooring (on 3 coordinates), the process of mooring and landing starts, using the latches for the chassis in case of an equal ground speed of both the platform and the UAV. The AHP platform can be used on the ice surface and / or deserts for military, rescue and research missions. 

Today, UAVs’ taking off and landing  speed is limited by 120 km/h if the aircraft takes off from the ground and by 80 km/h is it is from the water. The UAV’s maximum payload is 2,000. Further development of hovercraft autonomous platforms and the increase of their speed and payload, while preserving their mobile qualities, will allow to use bigger UAVs , which could take off and land on such platforms.

Extended abilities of middle-sized UAVs 

Concept  ©AUTONOMOUS HOVERCRAFT PLATFORM (AHP) has been under development as part of the commercial offer on V-24 UAS (UAV is planned to be produced on the basis of  V-24 Softex Aero).

 Considering that V-24 UAS has Speed of  Liftoff, Vso = 98 km/h with the maximum takeoff weight of 1,300 kg and the landing speed of  90 km/h, it enabled to use a hovercraft platform for the UAV take-off. The platform could be produced as unmanned (autonomous) or with a driver.  AHP intends to use a high-speed “Arctic-2DK” (Russia) or analogous vessel as a prototype. The platform becomes a universal tool for taking off and landing of the following UAVs:  

General Atomics MQ-1 Predator US (max. Take-off weight = 1020 kg, Stall Speed , Vs₁ = 100 km/h), 

General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle US (max. Take-off weight = 1633 kg, Stall Speed , Vs₁ = 100 km/h), 

TAI Anka Turkey (max. Take-off weight = 1600 kg, Stall Speed , Vs₁ ∼90 km/h) and similar types.

The hovecraft platform for taking off / landing of UAVs is transported on standard 10-meters trailers with MAN 33.350, URAL 44202 and other similar trucks. 

🔳 2014



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© Pavel Naumenko / Library and Information Science Resources 2014