This paper presents an actuation control system for the Smart Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (SUAV), a tilt rotor aircraft that is being developed by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute. The actuation system, which consists of flaperon, rotor, and nacelle tilt, should be controlled to track the position command sent from the flight controller. However, substantial variations in the aerodynamic load on the actuation system make it difficult to achieve the desired level of control performance. In this study, the actuation system was controlled using the Time Delay Control (TDC) law. The experimental results show that the following control performance specifications are completely satisfied under load variation from 0 to 455 kgf: bandwidth of 4 Hz, overshoot of 2.5%, and steady state error of 1% for flaperon and rotor actuation system. Especially, the accuracy was within the noise level of the steady state position error over broad ranges of the load. In addition, the command filter was applied to the TDC command to mitigate the effects of the phase delay that occurs when a sinusoidal command is applied. Furthermore, an actual flight test was performed, which clearly showed the effectiveness of the proposed control scheme. This promising control performance shows that TDC is an effective alternative for controlling the actuation system of the SUAV with substantial load variation. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.