Research UAV Vela

Vela is an experimental aircraft with a scale of 1:30 (3.3 m of wing span) developed by the German aeronautical institute “DLR” in service of Airbus. The aircraft is used to analyze the flight characteristics of blended wing body aircraft.

The task was to design, build and equip the model with flight and measuring electronics at the Steinbeis Transfer Center AFL within the scope of an research paper. The aircraft is tested at the Institute of Aircraft Design of the University of Stuttgart.

The aircraft was designed with the 3D CAD system Mechanical Desktop. The dimensions match the scale of 1:30, also keeping in mind the aerodynamic Froude number. With a wing span of 3.3 m, the model’s gross weight was therefore not allowed to exceed approximately 20 kg including equipment and fuel. All steering elements and avionics were integrated into the 3D model. The surface data was then used to generate the countersink data.

I also designed the moulds, made of Ureol, which were manufactured at Streifeneder Aircraft Construction in Gabenstetten. The challenges during the manufacturing phase were the tiny clearances, e.g. the tailing edge of the ailerons, which is less than 1 mm.

Video des Erstflugs

Construction in CAD | JS1 Type CertificateForm aus Ureol | JS1 Revelation