For the first time at the composite industry’s JEC Europe 2014, Chomarat will present a ¼ scale version of the VX-1 KittyHawk™. This unique aircraft will have a smaller footprint than other aircraft when based on payload capability. “The volume will also allow KittyHawk to lead the way in adopting CNG (compressed natural gas) as an aviation fuel. Existing technology CNG tanks fit inside the aircraft with no aerodynamic compromise. At less than 1/3 the cost of avgas, the KittyHawk will have unparalleled operational economy with emissions that are 40% cleaner,” says Bob Skillen, VX Aerospace’s CEO.
This aircraft, designed by VX Aerospace Corporation, has a unique shape that is structurally efficient thanks to C-Ply™, Chomarat’s composite reinforcement material. C-PLY is a carbon multiaxial product or non crimp fabric (NCF) made up of unidirectional layers that are mechanically sewn together, enabling a low weight, high performance, and low cost final solution.
A unique shape with no wings for a reduced carbon footprint
What makes KittyHawk so different from other aircraft is its shape: it has no wings! The fuselage and wings are combined into one shape called a ‘lifting body’ or ‘blended wing’ aircraft. The shape of the KittyHawk has numerous advantages over traditional designs such as: greater useable internal volume, greater payload capability, better structural efficiency, better durability and better manufacturability. The construction is thus facilitated as this design will have fewer parts and therefore be easier to assemble. In addition, the aircraft can be scaled to accommodate the intended mission. Manned or unmanned, the VX-1 KittyHawk’s massive internal volume is a huge advantage.
Flight testing will begin next month.