India's Tata Advanced Systems and Israel's Urban Aeronautics are to co-operate in developing and manufacturing ducted fan propelled unmanned air vehicles.
Tata recently invested in the Israeli company with the aim of selling Urban's ducted fan aircraft in India's market. Urban is developing a family of ducted fan prototype aircraft based on the company's proprietary Fancraft technologies.
The family includes three prototypes - the manned X-Hawk, designed to carry up to 12 people and powered by two turboshaft engines the single turboshaft-powered MULE UAV, designed for military resupply and medevac missions and the electrically powered Panda, intended for urban surveillance.
The X-Hawk is expected to have a maximum take-off weight of 1,920kg (4,230lb), while the MULE's MTOW will be 1000kg and the Panda just 14kg.
Using its own simulator, Urban is developing the vehicles' flight control systems and claims that its Fancraft technologies, which include a vane control system and adaptable, louvered ducts, will give the aircraft very precise hover control and enhanced high-speed performance. They will also be able to butt up against buildings while hovering.