Five months ago, Textron Systems Unmanned Systems presented a proof of concept demonstration for its Aerosonde HQ. Yesterday, the VTOL, fixed-wing, unmanned aircraft completed its first customer demonstration, the company said.
The Aerosonde HQ is the VTOL variation of the Aerosonde Small Unmanned Aircraft System (SUAS). With one rotor on each wing, the Aersonde HQ has an 8-hour endurance and 10,000-foot service ceiling. It is powered by a Lycoming EL-005 heavy fuel engine.
This demonstration took place at the new Textron Systems Unmanned Systems Service & Support Center in Blackstone, Virginia, with military, civil and commercial customers from across the globe in attendance. They were able to see the Aersonde HQ’s vertical takeoff and transition to horizontal flight, then landing, which is independent of prepositioned personnel and recovery equipment.
The Aerosonde SUAS has more than 150,000 flight hours in its portfolio, in both commercial and military operations. With multi-mission capabilities, it can operate on land or sea in day or night. Customers of the fixed-wing drone showed great interest in the VTOL version, prompting Textron to quickly ready the prototype for demonstration.
Photo courtesy of Textron