As reported before, Textron has developed a modification to its AEROSONDE unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to give it a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capability and will now demonstrate this at sea later in 2017. According to the company, the modification allows for more flexibility in operations and a reduction in footprint for launch and recovery equipment.

The AEROSONDE HQ (Hybrid Quad) features four battery-driven rotors installed on twin booms of the original AEROSONDE UAV, giving it a VTOL capability. The modifications add 10lbs. to the weight of the UAV, and eliminate the need for a launcher and/or a recovery net.

With its size, endurance and power, as well as experience in harsh environments from desert heat to the Arctic air, the AEROSONE has already proven its multi-mission capabilities,” Vice President of Small/Medium Endurance Unmanned Aircraft Systems, David Phillips, explained. “Now, with the potential to add VTOL capabilities, the mission possibilities are almost endless. The system could be launched from the smallest operational areas – adding an array of applications both on land and at sea.” 


AUVSI XPONENTIAL 2017 is showcasing the future of innovation across unmanned systems and robotics and brings together key developments from the show. For more information please see MILITARY TECHNOLOGY #5/2017, available at the show; and frequently check back for more NEWS FROM THE FLOOR.


With assistance from Latitude Engineering and Cloud Cap Technology, the Textron Systems’ proof-of-concept work combines the vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities of a multi-rotor platform with the efficiency, speed and endurance of the AEROSONE SUAS fixed-wing aircraft. With the addition of VTOL capabilities, the system retains service proven capability within a smaller, more portable footprint. (Photo: Textron)

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