A Comparative Study to Identify the Propeller-Driven HALE UAV Configuration with the Maximum Endurance Profile

Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Source

1st UAV Conference


A Conceptual Design and Synthesis program was created to facilitate the comparison of over 55 different configurations to perform the propeller driven Unmanned Aircraft High Altitude Long Endurance mission. The Configurations considered included Conventional, Canard, Twin Boom, 2 And 3 Fuselage (Conventional and Canard), and Flying Wing. Each aircraft type was considered in a pusher and tractor engine configuration.

The relative sensitivity of endurance performance to overall aircraft configuration selection was studied. Analysis of the performance was isolated to the overall aircraft endurance, and the terms that influence Breguet endurance. The conventional configuration was used as the endurance performance baseline for comparison for all alternative configurations considered.

The canard and twin boom aircraft performance was so close to that of the conventional configuration that selection between these configurations will most likely be based on non-endurance performance factors.

Multiple fuselage aircraft exhibited very interesting behavior, in some cases outperforming the conventional configuration in endurance. Finally, a graphical conceptual design and synthesis program has been used to identify the Low-Speed HALE UAV aircraft configurations with the highest potential, engine data independent aircraft endurance.




Permission documentation is on file.


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Place of Publication

Portsmouth, VA