Two of the three companies involved in a US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contest to develop a ducted-fan unmanned air vehicle for company-level operations have released further details of their proposals.

Aurora Flight Sciences, BAESystems and Honeywell were late last year selected to take part in the agency's 15-month Organic Air Vehicle-II programme, with Aurora promoting a version of its Goldeneye UAV (Flight International, 7-13 December 2004).

BAE has disclosed first details of a four-year effort to develop a ducted-fan system that is now in advanced flight testing. The company started work on its still-unnamed design in 2001 and has tested a 230mm (9in) -diameter prototype vehicle. Since early 2004 the company has been actively flight testing a vehicle in the roughly 45kg (100lb) class required for the DARPA competition.

Honeywell has meanwhile launched flight tests of a 330mm-diameter ducted-fan micro air vehicle that will run through March before the delivery of prototype systems for US Army experimentation, and a heavy-fuel engine version of the design will be ready next year.

Source: Flight International