Fantail, developed by ST Aero is a miniature “tail sitter”, capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and hovering, even under severe weather conditions, such as strong winds and gusts. When positioned in a vertical orientation, the FanTail maintains a stable, low speed flight while the horizontal orientation enable high speed dashes (70 knots) from one position to another.
The FanTail is designed for operation in difficult terrain, especially in urban area, where it can fly along narrow streets and position itself precisely on roofs, between trees or at other vantage positions. The ducts help protecting the spinning propeller from strikes against obstacles. The FanTail will be able to perform various missions such as “around the corner, over the hill” surveillance, as well as detect and track chemical and biological hazards.
The vehicle’s body is constructed from modular carbon-fiber composites and weighs only 3 kg, of which 30% are payload. Rotor diameter is 29 cm, and overall length is 76cm (excluding landing gear). Flight control and stability are provided by control surfaces positioned below the rotor, providing high effective hover control and withstanding strong winds and gusts. It is controlled by an autopilot system, and is equipped with powered with an internal combustion engine. It is controlled from a compact ground station.
FanTail can be operated in direct (line of sight) mode, or in cooperation with communications relay UAVs, such as the MAV-1, also developed by ST Aero.