VTOL aircraft gets SIBR contract

Aug. 8, 2012 at 12:37 PM

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has selected the MLB Co.'s V-Bat vertical takeoff/landing unmanned aerial vehicle for Phase II SBIR development.

Under the award MLB will build V-Bat unmanned aerial vehicles and conduct a comprehensive flight test program that will result in fully autonomous operational demonstrations.

MLB said Brigham Young University will develop control algorithms and support flight tests for its system, while AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems will preparing the system design for low-rate initial production.

The V-Bat to be produced will have a wingspan of 8 feet, a flight endurance capability of 10 hours and a cruise speed of 70 miles per hour.

It's gross takeoff weight will be 55 pounds.

MLB last year, under a DARPA contract, demonstrated precise emplacement of small payloads from the V-Bat operating in hover mode. It did so using a vision-based control system.

MLB Co., which has headquarters in California, specializes in research and development, manufacturing, operator training and service for unmanned aerial systems.

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