Issue 41 Unmanned Systems Technology December/January 2022 PteroDynamics X-P4 l Sense & avoid l 4Front Robotics Cricket l Autonomous transport l NWFC-1500 fuel cell l DroneX report l OceanScout I Composites I DSEI 2021 report

Communication links for Unmanned Systems DTC Design without compromise Domotactical.Com PteroDynamics X-P4 | Dossier and we want to expand that envelope over the next 6 months so that customers have a broad flight envelope to work with.” As mentioned, since wing length contributes little to ground footprint or near-ground instability, a high aspect ratio wing can be designed to maximise flight efficiency and hence endurance. Dr Petrov adds, “Since we use the same propulsors on the wings for both VTOL and forward flight, we don’t need to carry the dead weight and severe parasitic drag that hybrid multi-rotor planes have to in their VTOL systems, or the added points of failure that tiltrotor servos pose. “That means we gain not only endurance and lift-to-drag ratio, but also airspeed, since we can devote more power to forward propulsion. Based on my calculations, I am confident that we will soon break the world speed record for a VTOL UAV [currently 150 mph/240 kph, set by Wingcopter in 2018].” There is tangible value in this, as Whitehand explains. “We’ve found that flying faster is a huge differentiator among customers looking into last- mile aerial logistics. Among industrial or defence users who need, say, a critical repair tool or replacement part for broken-down vehicles or machinery, moving fast is much more important than being able to fly far. “For those users, a 3 hour flight endurance is surplus to requirements; instead, we could carry a 15 lb payload at 75 knots for 1.5 hours. Right now, we estimate our dash speed to be 150 knots with variable-pitch propellers, and once we’ve incorporated some further things in our r&d pipeline, we’ll be able to get all the speed these customers will ever need.” Modular mission systems As mentioned, the initial customer for the X-P4 is the US Navy, for the Blue Water Maritime Logistics programme. More specifically, the Military SeaLift Command (which handles military transport and replenishment) needed a fast, reliable, easy-to-use aircraft with high tolerance to hazardous weather conditions, to ferry repair tools and parts to ships. “Those parts and tools are typically delivered by H-60 and V-22 aircraft, which are incredibly expensive and high maintenance, even though 90% of the time they’re carrying payloads of 50 lb or less for these missions,” Graczyk says. “After showing what our aircraft could do for them, we signed the contract in June 2021 to deliver three X-P4s in June 2022 as demonstration units, which might be extended to more units and larger variants in a follow-on contract.” Vice-president of business development Chris Corgnati notes that the reliability, speed and carrying capacity of the X-P4 also mean that PteroDynamics sees commercial ship-to- ship and shore-to-ship logistics as highly applicable for it and successive Perfect vision Anytime, Anywhere Customized to meet your requirements Geo features & Moving map Multi-target tracker & Moving target detection DST CONTROL - - Based on an innovative single board construction and rugged enclosure, the SOL8SDR-M is DTC’s smallest, lightest, low power consumption Mesh radio which has been designed to deliver secure and robust communications for unmanned platforms for mission critical applications.