Start-up Drone America (booth 4842) is showing off its new unmanned amphibian aircraft called Ariel-22.

The twin-engine in-line piston engine machine is primarily designed for civil disaster relief operations, says company engineer Mike Richards.

The aircraft has yet to fly, but it will eventually carry life rafts or fire retardants or other supplies into inaccessible areas. The company is aiming for a flight by the end of the year, says Richards. The aircraft can carry up to 400lb payload.



Despite the humanitarian potential, the company is eyeing potential military application as a submarine hunter.

The Reno, Nevada-based company, which has been developing the aircraft for eight years, hopes to work with a larger entity to build and market the aircraft, and has fielded inquiries from several undisclosed companies.

Source: Flight Daily News