the NicAile, a performance flying wing

Designed by Nicolas Quendez


During a training period at ONERA (french research center for aeronautics), Nicolas quendez studied aerodynamics optimisation applied to flying wings. He defined some design rules concerning thoise tailless aircraft, that were practically verified through the building of this NicAile.
   All work done by Nicolas was based on a VLM code he developps with Matlab. He used optimisation toolbox in order to find the optimum planform, washout and airfoil nedeed.
root airfoil

   Then dedicated airfoil, that are non reflex, were designed with Xfoil. They are aerodynamically optimized taking viscous effect into account, with Cm constraint coming from unviscid analysys. They are also adapted to large flap deflection.
Lift distribution for Cl = 1. Pressure distribution, computed by VLM

   Thanks to very particular flaps, the lift distribution is kept elliptic over all the flight range ! And this while the wing is still equilibrated on pitch axis.
   The accurate deflection for each flaps were founds thanks to numerical otpimisation capability of Nicolas' code


2500 (mm)

Wing area

48 (dmē)


1050 (g)


Root : 226 (mm)
Tip : 160 (mm)


Evolution NQ


"Accurate !"

Aspect Ratio


LE Sweep

26° (i.e. 636 mm)

Wing Loading

22 (g/dmē)

   We both built a NicAile, and I felt in love with the conccept. Indeed the elevator command is really breathtaking, since is does NOT induce drag increase such as with other flying wing.
   Stalling is also really smoothen by the device, and the circling into thermals is really a pleasure.

    NicAile in flight at "la Banne d'Ordanche" (french gliding site), with really laminar condition. It has also flown in thermic only condition : what a a performance and a pleasure !

   Grouded NicAile at "Xwing 2002". It what air towed with a simple OS-40 trainer !

Further information and remarks:

Contact Nicolas Quendez or contact me.