Accurate Automation's LoFLYTETM test aircraft shown with the SpaceAge Control Model 100400 mini air data boom.
Accurate Automation Corporation (AAC) is developing the LoFLYTETM testbed aircraft and selected the SpaceAge Control Model 100400 air data boom for obtaining angle-of-attack, sideslip, static pressure, and total head pressure information. LoFLYTETM stands for Low Observable Flight Test Experiment. The LoFLYTETM program will demonstrate several advanced technologies within a series of stealthy hypersonic aircraft. The first two aircraft will be jet powered and will be unmanned. They will fly slower than the speed of sound, but each will have the same "waverider" shape designed for Mach five flight. Mach five is five times the speed of sound. The term "waverider" refers to the fact that aircraft of this type ride on the shock waves that they create as they fly above the speed of sound. Other supersonic and hypersonic aircraft do not do this. These subsonic vehicles will demonstrate that an aircraft with this innovative shape can take off, fly well at low speeds, and land safely.
After successful demonstrations of these aircraft, the company anticipates building a full scale aircraft. This full scale aircraft will take off horizontally like its two predecessors. Then it will use airbreathing engines to accelerate to a cruising speed of Mach 5 and to climb to a very high altitude. It will end its flight by landing on a conventional runway. Mach 5 is much faster than any aircraft with air breathing engines has ever flown. The SR-71 "Blackbird" can only fly at a top speed slightly over Mach 3.
Each aircraft in the series will be larger and more sophisticated than its predecessor. The first LoFLYTETM is a Remotely Piloted Vehicle, or RPV, which is 100-inches in length. The first vehicle will provide valuable information for the development and flight testing of the larger LoFLYTETM vehicles. The second LoFLYTE TM aircraft will be 23 feet in length. The construction of the structural components of this vehicle is tentatively scheduled to begin after the first flight of the small aircraft. This vehicle will fly in 1997.
LoFLYTETM is the result of several Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contracts from Navy, NASA, Air Force, and National Science Foundation, as well as funding from commercial sources. The LoFLYTETM program will demonstrate the first known flight of a waverider configuration airbreathing vehicle. The LoFLYTETM technologies will find their way into various future aerospace projects. Some of the technologies, such as advanced sensors, new materials, and a new type of computer, will be applied to other industries as well. Variations of the new computer are already being sold by Accurate Automation.
For more information on Accurate Automation, please contact them at:
Accurate Automation Corporation
7001 Shallowford Road
Chattanooga, TN 37421 USA
423-894-4646 423-894-4645 (fax)