Doug has been recently working on a DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Project Agency) contract to invent better morphing wing aircraft.  2,000 lb UAV's like the Predator - but doing a lot more than simple retractable flaps and leading edge slats to enable them to loiter efficiently doing surveillance over a location for 10 hours than after sensing & confirming the bad guys, be able to dash down at Mach 0.9 and pull 4 to 5 g maneuvers.  Saves calling in the F-16 jocks and waiting 20 minutes for them to arrive. 

Dr. Terry Weisshaar ( ) DARPA's Morphing Aircraft Program Manager, sent me an EMail in May of 2003 - "Doug, I need you!".  Terry was looking for some notional concepts that would be "different" that what the large aerospace were providing him.

Malewicki decided it would be more efficient to build and fly several Radio Control morphing models to demonstrate possible performance enhancements and morphing mechanism functions.  Such results would be more substantial than just doing theoretical performance analysis or attempting to get wind tunnel time for instrumented models.  Doug made one trip to Washington, DC in July 2003  that same month, he was the plenary speaker for the Morphing Aircraft Structures Conference in San Diego.

At the MAS Conference
Left to right:
1- Dr. Terry Weishhaar, DARPA Morphing Aircraft Program Manager
2- Taras Kicenuik, Aerovironment
3- Dr. Paul MacCready, Founder AeroVironment
4- Doug Malewicki
UMAAV (Unmanned Morphing Aerial Attack Vehicle) Morphing configurations

The long slender wings needed for fuel sipping efficiency while loitering for hours on end would flutter and disintegrate in a Mach .9 high speed dive and attack.

Another advantage to a morpher is an intermediate configuration that would allow faster speeds to destination

This configuration requires lots of power.  Means poor loitering time.

Loiter mode Fast Cruise mode High Speed Dash/Attack

Ducted fan vectored thrust

Watch the official Droid of Death Mission Video by Brad T. Bowman 2003-2004 (Very cool and explosive!!)

- Turn up the volume!!

UMAAV Mission Video (low quality - 448K )
UMAAV Mission Video (medium quality - 1.7MB)
UMAAV Mission Video (high quality - 8.3MB)



Four basic configurations were invented and investigated.  These were named: Morphosaurus, The Morphinator, The Droid of Death and Firefly.
The Morphinator  
The Firefly  

Copyright 2004  
Douglas J. Malewicki, AeroVisions, Inc., P. O. Box 1822, Newport Beach, California 92663
You can EMail Doug at: DMalewicki at (replace "at" with the @ symbol)