This wingless innovation, designed by VX Aerospace, took off for the first time in early June 2014.
The company explains the quarter scale version of the VX-1 KittyHawk successfully completed his first maiden flight on June 6th, 2014 at the Foothills Regional Airport between Morganton and Lenoir, North Carolina, US.
Chomarat explains the KittyHawk aircraft stands out as it is designed with no wings. The design allows for more useable space inside the aircraft, greater payload capacity, better structural efficiency and better durability.
Furthermore, the company states it will have a smaller footprint than other aircrafts when based on payload capability.
VX Aeropace states KittyHawk is the first of its aircrafts to be manufactured with Chomarat’s C-PLY.
According to Chomarat, C-Ply is the enabling material for using VX Aerospace established hand lay-up and oven curing processes, to economically achieve properties similar to autoclave cured UD (uni-directional) prepreg and automatically placed tape prepreg. The C-Ply material is durable to handle during lay-up, drapable to accommodate the compound curvatures, and can be manufactured to fully optimise the design relative to fibre angles and ply weights… to ultimately yield a low weight, high performance, and low cost final solution.
“It was a big day, everyone was thrilled to see the KittyHawk take to the skies. And after this first test we are very confident in KittyHawk potential.” said Bob Skillen, Chief Engineer at VX Aerospace.
“We wish to congratulate our partners for this important milestone in the KittyHawk programme! We are very proud to be part of this success that marks Chomarat’s commitment and added-value in aeronautical projects.” adds Michel Cognet, Chomarat’s CEO.
“C-Ply is the first true advance in carbon fabrics in a long time. It is designed to optimise fibre performance. This is a game changer for small business doing aerospace grade work, because C-Ply allows for cost-effective production of open mould parts with the same (or better) performance characteristics as parts manufactured by automated tape placement. This, in turn, can save up to millions of dollars in investment.” continues Bob Skillen.
“The volume will also allow KittyHawk to lead the way in adopting CNG (compressed natural gas) as an aviation fuel. Existing technology CNG tanks fit inside the aircraft with no aerodynamic compromise. At less than a third of the cost of avgas, KittyHawk will have unparalleled operational economy with emissions that are 40% cleaner.” concludes Bob Skillen, VX Aerospace’s CEO.
Photo provided by Chomarat.
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