Plano, TEXAS — On the afternoon of June 4, the Martin UAV “V-BAT”, a state-of-the art VTOL Fixed Wing UAV, launched from McMillan Field at U.S. Army Base, Camp Roberts in a flight test to demonstrate its calculated service ceiling.
Twenty-five minutes later, V-BAT descended after easily reaching the upper limit of the restricted air space and its calculated service ceiling of 15,000 feet.
After landing and a rapid payload change to an 8 lb. turret, the V-BAT was refuelled and relaunched in less than an hour. The second flight was performed at a more tactical altitude and demonstrated the V-BAT’s capability of integrated flight with an Avwatch tracking antenna, successfully conducting ISR missions at ranges in excess of 50 miles.
Wayne McAuliffe, Martin UAV’s VP of Special Programs and former US Navy pilot, said:
“With these milestones, V-BAT has demonstrated all of the key performance parameters we set for it two years ago. The focus for the engineering team will now shift to enhancing and refining these capabilities to even better meet & exceed war-fighter requirements.”
Both tests were performed as a part of the Naval Post Graduate School’s Joint Interagency Field Experiment 18-3 (JIFX), an event that provides government, industry and academic innovators the opportunity to collaborate and experiment with new technologies.
Powered by Hirth Engines: V-BAT Long Endurance VTOL UAV – Martin UAV LLC and the Naval Air Systems Command entered into a research contract to explore extending the V‑BAT’s existing autonomous landing capability. The V-BAT is a tail sitting VTOL fixed wing UAV that is launch and recovery equipment independent.
V-BAT can ‘hover and stare’ at a target any time the mission requires and, with an inherently safe ducted fan, can operate close to personnel.
For more info on Martin UAV’s you can visit their website at www.martinuav.com