AI News, Marines Plan New Test Flights for Battlefield Delivery Drones

Marines Plan New Test Flights for Battlefield Delivery Drones

The ultimate goal of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory’s TACtical Air Delivery (TACAD) program is to develop a disposable glider drone that can deliver the 320-kilogram payload to within 45 meters of any given target site on Earth—and for a price that could make military resupply costs at least 10 times cheaper.

“We have seen a number of drone delivery concepts and ideas that use quad-rotors limited to less than 10 pounds [4.5 kilograms] of payload, but have not encountered any other legitimate, funded air delivery capability that achieves this level of performance for the price point of Silent Arrow.” Such precise aerial resupply offers huge advantages over truck convoys that could come under attack from insurgents or fall prey to the roadside bombs that have proven deadly to U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“In some cases, Silent Arrow may be replacing resupply by ground vehicle convoy, and in some cases by parachute drop.” —Chip Yates, Yates Electrospace Corporation Phase 2 flight testing for glider drones in the TACAD program should begin sometime in either February or March of 2018, says Lieutenant Morgan Grossman, aviation project officer for the Air Combat Element Branch at the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory.

The Yates Electrospace Corporation contract calls for 10 Silent Arrow prototypes to undergo flight trials such as surviving the impact of a water landing, undergoing flight control and autopilot testing, and going through both tow testing and drop testing for improved gliding and flight performance.

Electric aircraft start-up tests disposable UAV glider for USMC

29 NOVEMBER, 2017 SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM BY: LEIGH GIANGRECO WASHINGTON DC Teams off US Marines on remote bases could be re-supplied in the future with 'disposable' unmanned gliders toting up to 454kg (1,000lb) of cargo each.

“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,” says chief executive and founder Chip Yates.

During the 2017 AUVSI Xponential show, army and marine corps leaders expressed the need for aircraft that could take away the need to carry mission equipment and emergency resupply, from water bottles to packets of blood.

UAS VISION

Under the contract, YEC engineers and test pilots will build and test fly a fleet of 10 aircraft from 500 to 1,000-pound gross weights to expand the flight envelope and demonstrate unique performance criteria set forth by MCWL, including: Autonomously deliver 700 pounds of life-saving supplies and cargo anywhere in the world to within 150 feet by a single-use, low-cost, disposable glider aircraft Deploy from fixed-wing and rotary wing military aircraft such as the C-130, MV-22 and CH-53 from altitudes of 10-25,000 feet and achieve a glide ratio of between 8:1 and 15:1 Reduce current resupply costs by an order of magnitude and not compromise the position of those being resupplied through noise or the need to recover or retain the delivery platform “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,” said Yates Electrospace Corporation CEO Chip Yates.

YEC’s Silent Arrow UAS selected for USMC flight test programme

“We are honoured to join MCWL in their efforts to save lives, while drastically reducing delivery costs for critical resupply missions with our high-lift delivery drone.” YEC chief executive officer Chip Yates 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.

“We are honoured to join MCWL in their efforts to save lives, while drastically reducing delivery costs for critical resupply missions with our high-lift delivery drone.” The US Marine Corps’ (USMC) performance criteria includes the ability to autonomously deliver 700lb of life-saving supplies and cargo anywhere worldwide to within 150ft by a single-use, low-cost, disposable glider aircraft.