I'm very intrigued with how AeroVironment Switchblades: SW-300, and SW-600, steer their flight. There are plenty of images and animations and to my observation, none of the Switchblades have ailerons, elevators, or rudders. They have a vertical stabilizer and the rear wing can be considered as the horizontal stabilizer but, it seems, no control surfaces. So how do they steer their flight? do the switchblades use the oblique wing concept to control their flight path?
The ailerons of the Switchblade 300 are moveable. This can be clearly seen for example in this video, where they can be seen in their full up position. You can also make out that the wings are folded out with a spring without a locking mechanism. Therefore roll control is definitely realized via these ailerons.
Pitch control is performed (IMO) in one of the following ways:
- Either the elevators are in reality elevons and therefore control roll and pitch
- Or the elevator is tilted as a whole. Therefore, the mechanism carrying the swiveling mechanism, springs and elevator wing is swiveled by an independent servomotor.
Although I cannot find a source or good photo/video to prove either one of these theories, I suspect that these are elevons. This would have the advantage of having only 2 actuators, meaning less failure points, less complexity at the cost of having less control over the aircraft which is probably acceptable.
As far as I can see, yaw control is passive.