BAE Systems begins testing the world's first flapless aircraft

BAE Systems is aiming to revolutionize aircraft construction, one of the first to eliminate rudders, flaps, ailerons and other mechanical devices for maneuvering in the air. What was convenient in the age of piston machines and low speeds has long become a burden in the era of supersonic. For example, the new Magma aircraft is controlled by air currents.

Magma is a test drone that recently began flying over Llanbirdre airfield in Gwynedd, northwest Wales. It is built according to the "flying wing" scheme and is equipped with a system for blowing air through special slots in the rear of the wing. The jets of gas are accelerated by the aircraft engine to supersonic speeds and control the lift of the aircraft.

The second Magma control is the dynamic thrust vector of the engine. It is achieved by turning the nozzle through which gases are emitted to create jet thrust. This technology is not new, but so far it has only been used in combat aircraft and in very limited cases.

Getting rid of a large number of complex and vulnerable mechanical components made it possible to reduce the weight of the aircraft, reduce air resistance and reduce the cost of the control system. The fewer protruding parts on the hull, the better the flight performance and the lower the radar signature of the entire structure. In addition, BAE Systems has made significant progress in industrial 3D printing from titanium - a large part of Magma's parts are made in this way.