Honeywell announced that its 13-inch-diameter, 12.5-pound surveillance aircraft has successfully completed its first untethered free flight at a test facility near Laguna, New Mexico. The ducted-fan micro air vehicle, developed as part of a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency advanced concept technology demonstration program, is designed to provide soldiers with improved situation awareness without exposing them to enemy fire. Small enough to carry on one’s back, the air vehicle is equipped with forward- and downward-looking video cameras that relay images to a remote ground station.
Performance specifications include 40 minutes of endurance at 5,500 feet, a 50-knot airspeed, a 10,500-foot service ceiling and hovering capability. The gasoline-fueled Honeywell micro air vehicle had been flying tethered since January.