A fully autonomous quad tilt wing (QTW) unmanned air vehicle has made its first successful take-off, forward flight and landing.

The Chiba University-developed UAV, capable of carrying a 5kg (11lb) payload, made the flight in February. It has been in development since 2004, funded by Japanese company GH Craft. The UAV has a mass of 23kg (50.6lb), a wingspan of 1m (3.27ft) and is 1m long. It has a top speed of 81kt (150km/h) and an endurance of 15min. The prototype's rotors are electrically driven using batteries.

"We now want to make many types of QTW for the many different missions," says Chiba University department of electronics and mechanical engineering professor Kenzo Nonami, speaking on Friday 14 March at the 1st US-Asian demonstration and assessment of micro aerial and unmanned ground vehicle technology, held in Agra, India.

Describing an original mission concept for QTW of polar observation, Nonami also wants to develop a smaller, 500g (17.5oz) version of the QTW.

Source: FlightGlobal.com