Shifter breadboard for launch and land system

December 2019

Last week an important part of our launch and land platform was delivered at our brand new hangar at Breda Airport.

We received a full scale breadboard of the shifter, a mechanism, that will be used to land the aircraft.

The shifter mechanism decelerates the aircraft during landing using the tether. As the aircraft approaches the deck for landing, a transverse bar that is normally located in front of the tether anchor and over the deck, moves backward towards the aircraft, shifting the tether anchoring point in the process. As the aircraft flies over the shifter and makes touchdown, the winch stops and the the shifter progressively stops the aircraft. After the aircraft has landed, the shifter moves back to its home position over the anchor.

The shifter breadboard will be used to infer and validate the behavior of the shifter mechanism during the arresting of the aircraft. It comprehends a full scale model of the shifter mechanism and a motorized flywheel. The flywheel is used to emulate the energy of the aircraft during landing.

Both the shifter and the motorized flywheel are fitted with extra sensing equipment, to measure and log the relevant quantities during the testing campaign in the next few weeks.