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Planes. US University develops drone with underwater skills

It's the EagleRay Xav: multiple potential applications -VIDEO

Researchers from North Carolina State University (NCSU) have developed that one that themselves define the first unmanned, fixed-wing aircraft with amphibious capacities, capable of passing from air navigation to underwater. Its name is EagleRay XAV, which was developed with funding and assistance from Teledyne Scientific, and it can find different applications (tracking and observing wildlife among the others).

The project started when a team of four lecturers of the University -led by Matthew Bryant, an assistant professor in State’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering-, won a research contract from Teledyne in 2014. Professors Kara Peters, Ashok Gopalarathnam, and Larry Silverberg served as co-principle investigators on the project. By spring of 2016, Bryant’s team was arrived to develop a fully functional prototype, and published results in 2017 on its work.

The current model of EagleRay has a wingspan of 59 inches and is 55 inches long, weighing in at 12.6 pounds. It installs a dual-use propeller, powered by an electric motor, that propels it in air and in water.

The researchers are also refining a dynamic model of the EagleRay that can be used in simulations for training purposes, to predict performance and behaviour of the aircraft under different conditions and to refine the project.

Below, the video demonstration of the EagleRay:

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