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Xponential 2019: UAVOS flight testing weapon-capable helicopter UAV

02 May 2019
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UAVOS’ UVH-290E unmanned helicopter aircraft that is part of the company’s Surveyor-H unmanned aerial system, on display on 2 May 2019 at the AUVSI Xponential convention in Chicago. Source: IHS Markit/Pat Host

Key Points

  • UAVOS is flight testing a helicopter VTOL UAV that could deploy missiles
  • The company designed the aircraft to be rotary wing as it would withstand harsh weather

UAVOS is flight testing a helicopter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that a company official believes could deploy a weapon such as an airborne missile.

Aliaksei Stratsilatau, UAVOS board chairman and lead developer, told Jane's on 2 May that this is because this UAV, the UVH-290E, demonstrated precise controls during flight tests. The aircraft also has four hard points, two on each side. But UAVOS has yet to deploy any weapons during testing because it does not have any military contracts, Stratsilatau said.

The UVH-290E, UAVOS' flagship aircraft, has other military capability as Stratsilatau said the UAV could be equipped with a high-quality surveillance camera or high-definition (HD) light detection and ranging (LiDAR) capability. The aircraft can carry up to 20 kg payload depending on the fuel level and can carry 5 kg of payload with a full fuel tank. The UVH-290E has an approximate flight time of 6.6 hours with a 3.3 kg payload; roughly five hours, depending on conditions, with a 5 kg payload; and about three hours with a 16 kg payload.

The UVH-290E, part of UAVOS' Surveyor-H family of helicopter VTOL UAVs, is an industrial grade aircraft with a wankel type four-stroke single-rotor rotary gasoline engine. Take-off, en route flight, and landing are performed automatically. The company also has a proprietary autopilot, which Stratsilatau said enables the UVH-290E to operate beyond line of sight (BLOS).

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