The graduation project of Danny Msees, Bahaa Malkawi, Braa Al-Hawamdeh, Muhsen Obaidat, Ahmed El-Khalili and Omar Al-Smerat who is graduating from JUST Aeronautical Engineering, named as The BlueBird UAV, has made quite a publicity noise. BlueBird is a graduation project submitted to fulfill the requirements of a Bachelor degree in Aeronautical Engineering at Jordan University of Science and Technology.
The goal of this project is to design and build a low-cost unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of flying outdoor short flights autonomously for educational purposes. BlueBird is designed as if it is a real airplane rather than being a model. Adequate knowledge in the fields of science, aerodynamics, performance, stability, structure design, and control of airplanes was the basis of this achievement. Due to limited resources, BlueBird design and production was a real challenge starting from drafting the initial drawing to the day it first flew. The preliminary design was done using XFLR5 and later on Ansys Fluent to verify the aerodynamic properties. The structure of BlueBird is what makes it fabulous as it is a hand-made model with high-strength, relatively low-weight, and highly-accurate finishing. When looking at the BlueBird structure at the first glance, you will be impressed of how similar it is to the commercial airplanes structure. Longerons, bulkheads, and skin were used in the fuselage where ribs, spars, and skin were used in wing and tail production. BlueBird is a general aviation aerobatic type. It has a wing span of 1.5 m and total length of approximately 1 m. The overall weight of BlueBird is 2.2 kg; including all electrical and electronic devices. It is able to carry an extra weight of 0.8 kg safely.
The wing itself can support a total load of 7 kg. An APM ardupilot was used to navigate the BlueBird movements and to make the flights fully autonomous. Servomotors of small size and weight were used to actuate the control surfaces. 05 BlueBird was a very successful project as it has achieved the assigned goals and has flown four times and made perfect landings. The total cost of the project was about $1000. Although the main goal of this project was educational, BluBird can be extended for further applications. For example, it can be used for aerial photography, country boarder surveillance, and for entertainment purposes; such as aerobatic shows and FPV racing. The BlueBird is a promising project in Jordan and in the region as it gives the opportunity for such similar projects to be developed and used in local industries for peaceful applications.