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Two American aviation companies have announced a joint partnership to develop a high endurance, commercial, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAV. GE Aviation and Hybrid Project have joined forces to develop a VTOL UAV to be used for commercial applications by early 2020.
As part of the agreement, GE Aviation, along with Auterion, will supply computing hardware platforms and flight and safety management to Hybrid Project’s 35 pound SuperVolo VTOL UAV. The computing platform enable airborne computing power and flight control. Earlier this year, GE Aviation and Auterion have announced an agreement to jointly provide all-in-one hardware and software platforms for commercial drones according to Uasvision.com.
Auterion will supply the UAV with its Enterprise PX4 software. The software enables online workflows, compliance monitoring, and fleet management.
“The combination of Hybrid Project’s SuperVolo airframe, GE Aviation’s computing platform, and Auterion’s software stack enables an all-in-one solution that readily scales for commercial applications,” said Matt Vacanti, product leader for avionics systems at GE Aviation. “A highly integrated system is critical to achieving scalable commercial UAV operations.”
The SuperVolo VTOL UAV has been designed for endurance and modularity, with the company claiming that the drone can fly for 500 kilometers on one gallon of fuel. The integration of all the systems is so that the UAV can operate commercially and efficiently in complex environments while meeting regulations.
The SuperVolo is a gas/electric hybrid powered UAV. It can reach speeds between 45 to 65 miles per hour. The UAV’s one gallon fuel capacity gives the drone an endurance time of six hours and a possible payload of 10 pounds.
The entire drone solution is specifically engineered for commercial operators.