Successful tests of unmanned aircraft with TUM technologies


The unmanned aircraft Sagitta has completed its first two test flights. On board were innovative technologies, which are being tested on this platform, from several institutes of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Illustration of Sagitta (Image: Institute of Lightweight Structures / TUM)

Backing the Sagitta project is the aircraft manufacturer Airbus which, with this "Open Innovation" initiative in collaboration with industry and research institutes, aims to advance the development of new technologies for unmanned aircraft. The innovations come, amongst others, from four institutes of TUM Department of Mechanical Engineering.

It was scientists from the Institute of Aircraft Design, under the direction of Prof. Mirko Hornung, who were responsible for the design of the overall concept. The physical in-flight behaviour of the unusually shaped aircraft was tested by the Institute of Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics led by Prof. Christian Breitsamter.

Together with the TUM IAS focus group "Aircraft Stability and Control", the Institute of Flight System Dynamics provided a novel flight control system. In addition, scientists from the Institute of Lightweight Structures have developed new materials and construction methods for the Sagitta project. The institute was led by Prof. Baier until April, when he retired. Prof. Hornung is now the acting head.

For TUM press release see:

Aircraft Design at the Department of Mechanical Engineering:

Aerodynamics and Fluid Mechanics at the Department of Mechanical Engineering:

Flight System Dynamics at the Department of Mechanical Engineering:

Lightweight Structures at the Department of Mechanical Engineering: