BAE Systems officials said the firm has secured a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract to design a full scale demonstrator aircraft concept with Active Flow Control.
“BAE Systems has been at the forefront of digital design for more than 20 years,” Tom Fillingham, senior vice president – US Programs, BAE Systems Air, said. “This award enables us to progress Active Flow Control and our digital engineering capabilities at full scale, in collaboration with DARPA and the University of Manchester in the UK.”
Gillingham said BAE Systems engineers across the UK, US and Australia have continued to innovate to identify improvements in aircraft digital design to deliver military value and operational advantages.
The goal, per authorities, is to have the aircraft maneuver in flight without conventional flight control surfaces, enabling enhanced performance, maintainability and survivability.
Active Flow Control offers potential benefits delivering operational advantage in battlespace — supplementing or replacing conventional moveable control surfaces as a means of improving aircraft performance at various points in the flight regime while also reducing mass and volume over aircraft with conventional controls.
It is anticipated that BAE Systems would mature design, integration and de-risking activities that include wind tunnel testing at its facilities in the North West of England next year.