The 2nd International Workshop on Experimental Unmanned and Electric Flights ERBA-2104 was held on July 1-4 at the MIPT AeroSpace Campus located in Zhukovsky, Moscow Region. It was attended by prominent scientists from countries all over the world including Germany, Japan, Australia and others.
 
The agenda included:
 
- Aerodynamics and flight control of electric aircrafts
- Flight dynamics of RPAS-design aircrafts
- Certification of RPAS and RPAS pilots 
- RPAS safety in non-segregated airspace
- Remote control in orographic lift 
- Unconventional flying vehicles (flapping wing, balloons, hovercraft, convertiplanes etc.)
- Avionics and power sources for RPAS 
- Small aircraft vehicles: CFD or Wind Tunnel tests?
- Aerospace science for young people
- Demonstration flights 
 
Dr. Christian Roessler, the head of Academic Aeromodelling Group at Technical University of Munich, presented a small UAV that demonstrated record-breaking results in speed tests. ¨Even though what we’re doing here may seem like a hobby, it gives us very important results for a better understanding of complex issues in aerodynamics. And, of course, it is also great fun, so it helps us to involve young people in our projects.¨
 
Prof. Simon Watkins revealed the results of his comparative research in flapping, rotary and fixed-wing flight. ¨We have verified with certainty that ornithopters, while beautiful, are too ineffective as flight vehicles. Even if in 2010 the first flapping wing aircraft powered by man took to the skies, mankind had already invented something unique that had never before existed in nature - rotary movement. The efficiency of rotary propulsion increases with the total weight of the aircraft and, of course, only rotary engines can provide long hours of flight. Nevertheless, at scales between the size of an insect and a bird, flapping flight small aircraft can be designed and we are going to continue our research.”
 
Professor Jozsef Rohacs, the head of Air Turbulence Research project performed in collaboration with MIPT, pointed out the high value of experiments with small unmanned vehicles. “With small UAVs we can explore dangerous flight modes, such as flight with turbulence, over mountain terrain, etc. Such experiments with full-size aircraft are too expensive, risky and take more time than those with small vehicles.
 
At the final meeting Dean Victor Vyshinsky emphasized the increasing significance of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle application in modern society. “The Fukushima nuclear accident made it clear that small UAV have unprecedented efficiency in various fields from military applications to exploring radioactively and chemically polluted areas.”  He also mentioned MIPT’s plans to open a new research center on UAV in collaboration with Japanese scientists.