Aerocross Systems Echo Hawk Unmanned Vehicle Successfully Completes First Taxi Test
Aerocross Systems achieved another milestone today in preparation for the first flight of its Echo Hawk technology demonstrator unmanned air vehicle (UAV) with successful completion of the vehicle’s first taxi test at Aero Country Airport (T31), Mc Kinney, Texas.
Aerocross designed and built the unmanned system with funding from a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase II contract. Derived from a Colyaer Martin S100 light sport aircraft, Echo Hawk was built largely with composite materials. The air vehicle measures 20 feet long with a wingspan of 41.5 feet.
It is comparable in size and performance to the MQ-1 Predator UAV but can be acquired and operated at significantly lower costs.
Today’s low-speed taxi test was designed to exercise Echo Hawk’s command and control, steering and braking. The test consisted of five segments, each conducted by remote control from a mobile ground control station. The first verified movement of the air vehicle and validated start and stop taxi commands.
The following segment incorporated movement down the taxi way in increasing increments. The remaining segments tested steering under varying degrees of rudder control authority as well as differential braking. All test objectives were met.
Aerocross will analyze the data in preparation for additional taxi tests leading to first flight to be conducted from the U.S. Air Force’s Eglin Test and Training Range (ETTR), Florida. Previously, Aerocross completed a series of engine runs and conducted avionics and software integration at the company’s facility in Mc Kinney, Texas.
The results of the Echo Hawk flight demonstration program will be used in support of Aerocross’ development of the Mobile Airborne Test Range Instrumentation and Communication System (MATRICS) for the U.S. Air Force. The goal of MATRICS is to demonstrate the technical feasibility for an unmanned system to effectively and affordably conduct test range instrumentation support missions.
Aerocross Systems is headquartered in Mc Kinney, Texas. We specialize in the design, rapid prototyping, low volume manufacturing, integration, and testing of innovative and cost-effective aerospace systems.
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