Aurora Flight Sciences and Honeywell are to continue work on rival ducted-fan unmanned aircraft under the next phase of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Organic Air Vehicle (OAV)-II programme.

Both companies have received contracts for continued development and demonstration of their vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAVs under Phase 3 of the OAV-II programme, which runs to February 2009. The ducted-fan vehicles are being evaluated for the US Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) programme in parallel with a tandem shrouded-rotor VTOL UAV being developed by Piasecki Aircraft under a contract awarded in August last year by FCS lead system integrator team Boeing/SAIC, which is to select one of the three designs as its vehicle-launched Class II UAV.

Virginia-based Aurora says it built a non-flying risk-reduction vehicle under Phase 2 of OAV-II and conducted acoustic testing of its GoldenEye-OAV. Honeywell is working on a larger version of the vehicle selected to be the back-packable Class I VTOL UAV for FCS.

Source: Flight International