UV - Unmanned Vehicles

Marines to test autonomous cargo aircraft

16th November 2017 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The US Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) has selected Yates Electrospace Corporation's (YEC's) Silent Arrow autonomous cargo aircraft to take part in a 12 month flight test programme, the company announced on 13 November.

The contract will see YEC build and fly ten Silent Arrow UAS for evaluation by the MCWL. The lab will assess the aircraft’s capacity to autonomously deliver 700lbs of supplies and cargo to any location within 150ft of target by a single-use, low-cost, disposable glider aircraft.

The aircraft will weigh between 500 and 1,000lbs, and will be launched from fixed and rotary wing aircraft, such as the C-130, MV-22 and CH-53, at altitudes of 10-25,000ft, achieving a glide ratio of between 8:1 and 15:1.

According to the company, the aircraft’s potential to help lower current resupply costs and to not compromise operations of the recipients will also be evaluated by the MCWL.

Chip Yates, CEO, YEC, said: ‘By removing the electric powertrain from our Silent Arrow product line, we will meet all performance requirements at unprecedented unit costs for such a capable air delivery asset.'

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