Farnborough Air Show

Ducted-fan VTOL UAV could fly early next year

 - July 16, 2008, 7:44 AM

A VTOL UAV is displayed in model form by American Dynamics Flight Systems (Hall2 Stand 20). Unusual in its use of a single PW200 to power tilting ducted fans and provide some pure jet propulsion, the AD-150 is currently undergoing tests that are expected to lead to first flight early next year. a

Responding to a U.S. Marine Corps request for information in 2007, American Dynamics has kept it advised of progress and anticipates a request for proposal in 2009. The AD-150 will be able to meet the requirement to fly faster than the Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey but is not expected to function as an armed escort; rather it would carry out a surveillance role.

Wayne Morse, the company’s president, anticipates the AD-150 will be ready to enter production in 2010 and could become operational by 2015. But in addition to the USMC, Morse notes that the U.S. Coast Guard is also showing interest in the new UAV as a replacement for the Eagle Eye. The AD-150 is 14.5 feet long, has a wing span of 17.5 feet, an MTOW of 2,250 pounds and can carry a 500-pound payload.