California-based AeroMech Engineering, Inc. successfully flew its Fury 1500 small tactical unmanned aerial system (STUAS) for the first time 30 November, the company has announced.
During the hour and a half flight from the airfield at the US Army's Ft. Hunter Liggett in California, the new version of the Fury was flown using AeroMech's proprietary mission management software, knows as SharkFin.
"We are extremely pleased with the flight of the Fury® 1500. Everything from launch, through a flawless flight and clean recovery went extremely well," says John Purvis, vice president of STUAS at AeroMech.
The Fury is a long-endurance, survivable, and runway-independent UAV, with a 10.4kg (23lb) payload capacity tailored to satisfy critical requirements for the US military, the company says.
© AeroMech Engineering, Inc.
Fury 1200, which was designed for multiple, long-endurance missions, had its initial flight in 2008. Since then, development on the programme - which is supported by the US Air Force Research Laboratory - has increased Fury's maximum endurance to 20 hours and increased its weight from 24.9kg (55lbs) to 29.4kg (65lbs). It can be flown with either a gas or heavy fuel engine and provides up to 400w of continuous payload power.
"The Fury is a very capable system in its original configuration and now, with the 1500, we can provide new and industry-leading capabilities in a relatively low-cost package," says Robert Miller, AeroMech's CTO and development lead on Fury 1500.
The 1.4m (4.5ft) long UAV, with its 3.7m (12ft) wingspan is launched from a pneumatic launcher and has a collapsible recovery system for use on land and water as well as waterproofed systems for waterborne recovery, AeroMech says.