November 17, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
A company with a long history in developing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will license technology from Carter Aviation Technologies.
The highly respected AAI Corporation, a Textron company, will consider the unusual vehicle for several applications. The craft uses a helicopter rotor for takeoff and landing, and wings with a pusher prop to achieve high-speed cruise flight.
Carter and AAI are evaluating a turbine engine, 7,250-pound UAV with a useful load of 4,750 pounds. It could deliver 3,000 pounds of cargo 1,300 nautical miles at speeds up to 250 knots. Or it could be configured to fly for more than 24 hours for surveillance or to direct artillery.
Officially, the design is known as slowed rotor/compound technology.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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