Undergraduate Student Design Studies to Enhance RQ-1A Predator Performance 1999-01-5531
The General Atomics RQ-1A Predator has become an essential tool for battlefield commanders. However, its low maximum speed and poor performance in rain and icing conditions limit its usefulness. In the Spring of 1999, two 10-student sections of the aircraft design class at the United States Air Force Academy studied ways to improve Predator’s usefulness. They determined that small turbine engines, electro-expulsive de-icing systems, and several simple aerodynamic refinements would significantly improve Predator’s capabilities. These results and the methods used to generate them are described.