Wacky-winged drones may have a flying ace up their sleeve

There are now a lot of fixed-wing drones on the market, and most of them look pretty similar. FLY-R’s aircraft are different, though, in that they incorporate a rhomboidal wing design – it’s claimed to offer some distinct advantages.

Putting it simply, a rhomboidal wing has an open-center diamond shape when viewed from above.

In many cases, this is formed from a front pair of wings set low on the aircraft, along with a rear pair of wings set higher up. The front wings are swept back while the rear wings are swept forward and angled downward, so they join the front wings at the tips – it’s almost like a biplane, in which the ends of the upper and lower wings have been pinched together. A traditional tail isn’t required.

According to FLY-R – which is based out of the French-owned Réunion Island in the Indian Ocean – this setup is superior to a conventional wing in several regards. First of all, the wingspan is reduced by about half, plus there’s a reduction in aerodynamic drag. Additionally, the structural mass is decreased by approximately one third, the plane remains stable at a wide range of speeds, and it’s highly maneuverable.


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