PICTURE: IAI reveals 'Ghost' unmanned rotorcraft

Tel Aviv
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Israel Aerospace Industries provided an indication of its efforts to develop unmanned rotorcraft during a visit to the company by defence minister Ehud Barak on 22 February.

Two small unmanned rotorcraft models were presented, with one named the "Ghost". The model shows a tandem rotor-configuration design equipped with a small sensor payload beneath its fuselage.

IAI says the Ghost is powered by electric motors and has a maximum take-off weight of 4kg (8.8lb). With automatic take-off and landing capability, the design has a reported top speed of 35kt (65km/h), an operational range of 2.2nm (4km) and a 25min endurance.

 
© Israel Aerospace Industries
Defence minister Ehud Barak (centre) gets to grips with the new Ghost UAV design

IAI declines to provide details about its other vertical take-off and landing systems, but the emergence of the new designs follows the unveiling of its Panther tiltrotor unmanned air vehicle last year.

Powered by three electric motors, the Panther uses an innovative automatic flight control system to automatically manage the transitions between the aircraft's hovering take-off and landing phases and forward flight mode.

The Panther has maximum take-off weight of 65kg and an endurance of 6h, while a Mini Panther design weighing 12kg can operate for 2h.