Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara: Santa Clara University, 2014.

First Advisor

Nikola Djordjevic

Second Advisor

Drazen Fabris


Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles that have a variety of different applications in the field. Drones are very helpful for first responders such as firefighters, police, and even ranchers and large landowners. Most drones have a fixed wing. This report will show the design, construction, and fluid dynamic testing of a drone that has multiple wing positions. These modes are the straight wing position and swept back position. This design will change the flight profile of the plane, allowing for the user to launch at a faster speed and the glider to get to the desired location faster. Once the glider is at the desired location the wings can sweep forward to the straight position for more control. More control allows for better surveillance of an area. The wind tunnel was used to test drag and lift on models of our glider. Tests were done on three models: one straight wing model, one model with wings swept back 17.5°, and one model with wings swept back 25°. These models were also tested at multiple angles of attack between -15° to 15° in 5° increments. It was determined that, as the wings swept back, the models produced more drag. The straight wing model produced 0.393 lbs. of drag, the 17.5° model produced 1.09 lbs. of drag, and the 25° model produced 0.7 lbs. of drag. There were insufficient tests for lift that produced correct data. After these wind tunnel tests, a mechanism was implemented on the commercially available glider, the Radian Pro, that sweeps the wing back 25°. Once this was implemented, a flight test was conducted to compare models.