UK ducted-fan UAV unveiled

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Autonomous Vehicles International (AVi), a new UK unmanned air vehicle manufacturer, says it has four electrically powered, dual ducted-fan UAVs in production, with the first expected to fly by the end of this month.

The Seeker system is a back-packable tactical UAV designed to carry weapons, which looks similar to the recently unveiled Dragonfly Air Systems Globe Skimmer UAV (Flight International, 18-24 July). Both systems are based on concepts developed by Kestrel Aerospace.

The AVi demonstrators will be around 620mm (24in) wide and each duct will have an internal diameter of 246mm. The vehicles will have a maximum speed of 25kt (45km/h) and a 2,000ft (600m) ceiling, but are primarily intended for urban and indoor flight. A standard UK doorway is 750mm wide, meaning the design is small enough to navigate indoors.

SEEKER

AVi chief executive Craig Shaw says the demonstrators are around 20% larger than the proposed production version, and will be remotely controlled on their initial flights "while we crystalise the design envelope".