The design of the canyon flyer, an airplane for mars exploration

Stephen C. Smith, Andrew S. Hahn, Wayne R. Johnson, David J. Kinney, Julie A. Pollitt, James J. Reuther

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

49 Scopus citations


This paper describes the design of an airplane to perform science exploration of Mars, Emphasis is placed on the process used to arrive at a feasible design for the chosen mission within the severe programmatic, mission, and operational constraints imposed. The Canyon Flyer airplane is a propeller-driven subsonic airplane with two wing folds and a fuselage fold enabling stowage within an atmospheric-entry aeroshell. The fully deployed wingspan is 2.2 meters. Both battery-powered electric motors and hydrazine-fueled reciprocating engines were considered for powerplants. The operational scenario for the airplane is described, including deployment from the aeroshell, pull-up maneuver to level flight, and autonomous navigation to a specific region of scientific interest.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event38th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit 2000 - Reno, NV, United States
Duration: Jan 10 2000Jan 13 2000


Conference38th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno, NV


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