I was wondering how the Switchblade 300 drone (https://www.avinc.com/tms/switchblade) is able to maneuver? On all photos I can find, there is no sign of any ailerons - so does it wiggle the wings at the hinge point, does it use thrust vectoring or are the ailerons simply hard to see?

The drone has both a forward wing as well as a rear wing (similar to a wing and elevator, but sized about evenly), two rudders (or simply vertical stabilizers) and a pusher configured propeller in the tail.


2 Answers 2


After investigating the very few detailed images available of this loitering munitions UAV, it appears to use ailerons on the front set of wings. I've found one image which shows the underside of the UAV and its possible ailerons. image 1

If you look closely, there appears to be some form of crease hinge in front of the trailing edge of the wing as well as two things (potentially pushrods, aileron limiters, or simply mounting latches for when the UAV is in a folded form)

zoomed in

While there is no documentation I know of that supports this or any other maneuvering methods, the image makes it appear that the Switchblade 300 uses ailerons as its primary method of maneuvering mid-air.

Another image (credit to sempaiscuba) shows the front ailerons in even greater clarity.

more clarity

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ You can see the ailerons on the front wing fairly clearly at about 1:03 in this MSNBC video $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ @sempaiscuba Thank you, that shows it in great clarity! $\endgroup$
    – Jacob B
    Commented Apr 11, 2022 at 23:46
  • $\begingroup$ Very cool, thanks. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 12, 2022 at 6:20

What about the tailplane controls? The horizontal stabilizer seems fixed but the vertical ones seem to move. After launch they swing back and upright on a 45 degree hinge. They seem to then connect to a magnetic control rod that's affixed to a servo. Each vertical stabilizer has its own servo so they could move independently but only on the angled hinge.enter image description here


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