Marine Corps to Test Silent Arrow Autonomous Cargo Aircraft
LOS ANGELES — Yates Electrospace Corp. (YEC) has announced that the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) has selected the company’s Silent Arrow product line of autonomous cargo aircraft for a 12-month flight test program.
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 10,000 to 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 Chief Executive Officer Chip Yates. “We are honored to join MCWL in their efforts to save lives while drastically reducing delivery costs for critical resupply missions with our highlift delivery drone.”