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Gyrocopters – the small, light aircraft that fly at a low altitude and slow speeds – have an unusual design which offers stability at slow speeds, a trait that could be especially useful when applied to a drone. The ability of small, slow-flying craft to evade normal air defense radars should not be underestimated, according to c4isrnet.com.
For military planners and designers, the hybrid-gyrocopter drone is worth watching for a few reasons. The first is that gyrocopters offer a novel solution to short takeoff and landing, which could give commanders options with everything for scouting missions to resupply.
The second is that as the small military drone space expands, the need for single platforms to perform multiple roles is only likely to increase, and efficient flight at slow speeds is one way to make a drone a persistent asset in battlefield use.
New gyrocopter ‘hybrid’ drones created by UAVenture use the spinning blade as a rotor for lift when not in forward flight. With a speed range of 0 to 93 mph (or 0 to 150 km/h), these aircraft will “merge the best of gyrocopter and helicopter technology into a single system for a fully autonomous, vertical takeoff and landing capable drone in helicopter mode and an efficient forward flight in an autorotating gyrocopter mode,” according to uaventure.com.
The initial plan from the company is for two drones, one at 44 lbs, the other at 220 lbs.