MartinUAV’s V-Bat drone was tested by the US Navy this past week on their fast transport ship USNS Spearhead. It’s capable of infrastructure-independent vertical takeoff and landings while also retaining the high efficiency of a fixed-wing aircraft for long-endurance missions since it can be launched as well as recovered in a 9-square-meter area even in dense urban terrain or on the tight decks of ships. The drone can fly at speeds of up to 90 knots and can dash to different areas quickly while cruising around for eight hours at 45 knots at an altitude of up to 15,000 feet. Read more for two videos and additional information.
The drone has a maximum payload of eight pounds, and can be equipped with a host of multi-spectral sensor, electronic intelligence, radar, electronic warfare, and communications connectivity packages, all in an 82-pound package. It’s powered by a 183cc two-stroke engine that provides about 13 horsepower to its ducted-fan propulsion and control system.
It’s controlled using a modular line-of-sight data-link with a connectivity range of up to 50-miles, which can be extended indefinitely across the aircraft’s entire linear range by ‘handing-off’ V-Bat to other ground control stations as it nears the edge of its line-of-sight horizon. A semi-autonomous laptop user interface that fits into an easily portable hard-case, can also be used.