Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32579
Construction of Large Scale UAVs Using Homebuilt Composite Techniques

Authors: Brian J. Kozak, Joshua D. Shipman, Peng Hao Wang, Blake Shipp


The unmanned aerial system (UAS) industry is growing at a rapid pace. This growth has increased the demand for low cost, custom made and high strength unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The area of most growth is in the area of 25 kg to 200 kg vehicles. Vehicles this size are beyond the size and scope of simple wood and fabric designs commonly found in hobbyist aircraft. These high end vehicles require stronger materials to complete their mission. Traditional aircraft construction materials such as aluminum are difficult to use without machining or advanced computer controlled tooling. However, by using general aviation composite aircraft homebuilding techniques and materials, a large scale UAV can be constructed cheaply and easily. Furthermore, these techniques could be used to easily manufacture cost made composite shapes and airfoils that would be cost prohibitive when using metals. These homebuilt aircraft techniques are being demonstrated by the researchers in the construction of a 75 kg aircraft.

Keywords: Composite aircraft, homebuilding, unmanned aerial system, unmanned aerial vehicles.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 684


[1] Federal Aviation Administration (2019) FAA Aerospace Forecast Fiscal Years (FY) 2019-2039 Retrieved from
[2] Stickle, J. (1977). Technical Highlights in General Aviation. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 4.
[3] Hollmann, M. (1993). The history of composite aircraft. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
[4] Lambie, J. (1995). Composite construction for homebuilt aircraft. Hummelstown, PA: AViation Publishers
[5] Kettering, M., Biezad, D. (1996). The redoable aircraft design project. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. 843-844.
[6] Renton, J., Olcott, D., Roeseler, B., Batzer, R., Baron, B., Velicki, A. (2004). Future of flight vehicle structures. Journal of Aircraft. Vol. 41, No. 5, 986-987.
[7] Red, C. (2009). The outlook for unmanned aircraft. Composites World.
[8] Rutan Aircraft Factory. (1983). Moldless composite homebuilt sandwich aircraft construction. Retrieved from
[9] Harris, C., Starnes, J., Shuart, M. (2002). Design and manufacturing of aerospace composite structures, state-of-the-art assessment. Journal of Aircraft, 545-560.
[10] Mckinnon, M., Ding, Y., Stoliarov, S., Crowley, S., Lyon, R. (2016). Pyrolysis model for a carbon fiber/epoxy structural aerospace composite. Journal of Fire Sciences, 36-61.
[11] Hexion Specialty Chemicals. (2006). Technical information. Retrieved from