The Jungle Hawk Owl has first flight!

jho_takeoff

The JHO aircraft was designed (using GPkit) as a part of the 16.82 Flight Vehicle Engineering Capstone course, and is expected to break the existing gas-piston engined, unmanned aircraft endurance record of 80 hours belonging to the Aurora Orion. The aircraft is designed to provide communication support to areas lacking communication infrastructure. The JHO will enable a 5.6 day mission with a 10 lb, 100 W communications payload, providing coverage over an area 100 km in diameter. A geometric program was used to size the aircraft, which has a 24 ft wingspan, and a takeoff weight of 147 lbs. The airframe is designed to be modular, which allows for fast and easy transportation and assembly for an operating crew of four to six. The aircraft can station-keep in 90% of global wind conditions at an altitude of 15,000 ft.

The footage of the flight is available here. The prototype features the JHO airframe, but with reduced fuel capacity and a lighter payload to make the aircraft ready for testing under FAR-107.