After Hours

Eyes in the skies: Drones of today and tomorrow

The Demon UAV generated a stir in the aviation world by being the world's first aircraft to fly without flaps.

Conventional planes use flaps, slats and other surfaces to manipulate the flow of air over their wings and alter the amount of lift generated.

The diamond-shaped Demon UAV generates lift using a different system known as fluidic control. The system employs small jets at the back of the Demon UAV's wings to change the direction of the engine's thrust and to deflect the airflow over the wings.

The drone was developed by BAE Systems and engineers from UK universities during a five-year research project known as FLAVIIR, Flapless Air Vehicle Integrated Industrial Research.

Photo: Nick Heath/TechRepublic

About

Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic. He writes about the technology that IT decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.