Israel Aerospace Industries updates UAVs

Feb. 29, 2012 at 1:06 PM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, Feb. 29 (UPI) -- Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd. is updating its Panther tactical unmanned aerial vehicles' propulsion systems.

IAI improvements to the electrically powered Panther tactical UAVs include an upgraded prop-rotor design for vertical/short takeoff and landing, allowing for the UAVs greater mobility by allowing them to operate from terrain that would otherwise be unsuitable for deployment.

IAI is revealing its new UAV designs at the 52nd annual Israel Annual Conference on Aerospace Sciences in Tel Aviv, Israel's Globes business newspaper reported Wednesday.

The new IAI Panther UAV V/STOL incorporates a prop-rotor design method for the UAV's electric propulsion system, allowing the Panther's three electrical engines to permit the UAV to take off and land like a helicopter but fly like a fixed-wing aircraft.

The resigned Panther UAV, weighing 143 pounds, has three ultra-quiet electrical motors driven by tilt rotors for VTOL allowing it to use any unprepared area instead of limited to runways.

IAI says the Panther UAV can hover like a helicopter while achieving the efficient level flight endurance of traditional fixed-wing UAV aircraft. The Panther UAV can stay aloft for 3 hours at an altitude of more than 2,000 feet and has an operational range of up to 31 miles.

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