Analysis of “flying wing” scheme application at unmanned aerial vehicles of “air-to-surface” class

Design, construction and manufacturing of flying vehicles


Konyukhov I. K.

State Engineering Design Bureau “Raduga” named after AY Bereznyak, 2а, Zhukovskogo str., Dubna, Moscow region, 141980, Russia



The article describes some ways and hardships of a “flying wing” scheme application while developing long-range cruise missiles of “air-to-surface” class. Advantages and disadvantages of “flying wing” arrangementh and history of its development are briefly touched. An attempt to classify the “flying wing” type in applications to the particular structures of aircraft was made. A number of problems, occurred while these aerial vehicles development, were described. One of them is еру wing parameters selection (airfoil type, warps, sweep angle etc.) to ensure maximum aerodynamic quality over the whole flight path. This problem is not simple due to the low wing loading, specific to the arrangement under discussion, which is not optimal at low flight altitudes required for effective overcoming the enemy air defenses. Another crucial problem is an internal arrangement of wing-hull since it does not fully fit for locating all necessary elements of an aerial vehicle, such, in the first place, as the power plant, warhead and large-size radio-electronic devices. The presented work focuses mainly at the cruise missiles of a “flying wing” type allocation in the internal bays of a carrier (external arrangement). Several design options of the exterior, capable of solving this problem, were highlighted. They are as follows: accommodation by stack across the weapon bay, the wing folding, and a concept with the developed center wing-hull. Merits and demerits of these options were considered. Height-to-width aspect ratios of the weapon bay necessary for the most effective allocation of a cruise missile of the “flying wing” type was studied. These ratios differ greatly from those of attack aircraft of the traditional arrangement, but they fit perfectly the arrangement inside the next generation strategic bombers (B-21, PAK DA, H-20) under development at present.


cruise missile, flying wing, all-wing, wing folding, cranked kite


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