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K-MAX unmanned helicopter sets payload record (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The Unmanned K-MAX helicopter being developed by Kaman Corporation and Lockheed Martin has further demonstrated the potential of this type of aircraft in the field by completing a list of airdrop firsts. The milestones in payload weight and altitude were reached during a recent series of tests at the Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona where the KMAX (UAS) made guided airdrops via sling load at an altitude of 10,000 ft above sea level including a payload of 4,400 lbs.  Read More

The pint-sized, lightweight Nano Hummingbird

AeroVironment, the California-based company behind the largest, highest and longest flying unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the Global Observer, has now achieved a remarkable technical milestone with a much smaller aircraft. With its "Nano Hummingbird" the company has for the first time achieved controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight of a two-wing, flapping wing aircraft that carries its own energy source and relies only on its flapping wings for propulsion and control.  Read More

Skylark I UAV from Elbit Systems flies on AEROPAK fuel cell power in simulated battlefield...

The latest test of Horizon Energy System's AEROPAK fuel cell power system has seen it fitted aboard an Elbit Systems Skylark I-LE UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) and put through its paces. Although the AEROPAK has been put to the test in other UAS aircraft, the official test flight recently carried out in Israel marked the first time a fully operational system using the AEROPAK - including take-off and recovery with an operational payload integrated onboard - has been tested.  Read More

An integration exercise will feature Apache helicopter pilots controlling Shadow (pictured...

The U.S. Army is planning the largest ever demonstration of its Manned Unmanned Systems Integration Concept (MUSIC). The technology, which we first covered back in 2006, allows pilots to control the payload of a nearby Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) from the cockpit of an Apache Attack helicopter. The demonstration to be held at Dougway Proving Ground, Utah, is aimed at analyzing the progress of evolving manned-unmanned teaming technologies and will showcase level-4 UAS interoperability, which includes the ability to control the payload and view feeds from UAS systems in real-time from the cockpit.  Read More

QinetiQ Zephyr on final approach for world record

QinetiQ has filed for three world records for Zephyr, its solar powered high-altitude long endurance (HALE) Unmanned Air System (UAS), with the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) – the world governing body for air sports, aeronautics and astronautics world records. The three records subject to ratification are the absolute duration record for an Unmanned Air Vehicle, the duration record for a UAV in the U/1.c / 50-500Kg category and the absolute altitude record for a UAV in that category of 70,740ft (21,561m).  Read More

Global Observer takes to the air for the first time

After AeroVironment’s recent announcement that its Global Observer unmanned aircraft system (UAS) had successfully completed a series of Wing Load tests the team apparently wasted no time getting the craft in the air for its maiden flight. On August 5 Global Observer 1001 took off from Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California and climbed to an altitude of 4,000 feet where it performed a series of maneuvers before landing successfully one hour later.  Read More

Global Observe has completed a series of Wing Load Tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research ...

AeroVironment has passed a critical milestone in the development of its Global Observer unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The company reports that the High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) aircraft has completed a series of Wing Load Tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center – proving that the aircraft's all-composite 175-foot wing can withstand the level of dynamic stress it will be subjected to at altitudes of between 55,000 and 65,000 feet.  Read More

AeroVironment's Raven UAS

U.S. forces deployed just 13 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, but although the potential of surveillance and combat aircraft that don't put pilots in the line of fire has always been clear, few would have predicted just how quickly this technology would transform modern warfare. The proof? The U.S. Army has recently surpassed one million unmanned flight hours and is now using 333 different types of unmanned aerial systems in Iraq and Afghanistan... and the growth curve isn't about to level out.  Read More

New Fire-X UAS boasts greater hauling, payload and endurance capabilities

Northrop Grumman Corporation and Bell Helicopter have teamed up to develop Fire-X, a medium-range vertical unmanned aerial system (VUAS) that is designed to stay airborne for longer periods of time, communicate more easily with their commanders, and deliver more cargo to more remote locations. The new rugged, high-capacity UAS is based on the four-blade, single-engine Bell 407 helicopter that’s been in commercial use since 1996 and takes advantage of Northrop Grumman’s experience in developing the smaller Fire Scout UAV.  Read More

The first flight of the Block 40 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, which will help warfighter...

The first of the next generation of Northrop Grumman’s Block 40 configuration RQ-4 Global Hawk has successfully completed its first flight. The two hour flight took the aircraft from Northrop Grumman’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale, California to Edwards Air Force Base, California. Designated AF-18, the Block 40 configuration of the high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) unmanned aircraft system (UAS) will carry the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) active electronically scanned array radar that will help warfighters detect, track and identify stationary and moving targets.  Read More

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