Homeland Security Through Innovations in Aerospace
10/28/15 The GT Aeronautics' TACAMO RPAS prototype (TACAMO 001) completed the second phase of airworthiness flight testing today, logging three flights and over 30 minutes of flight time. The airworthiness flight tests evaluated stability and control as well as validating the flight control rates as integrated to the autopilot. The components of the TACAMO Ground Control Station (GCS) and Ground Support Equipment (GSE) was also evaluated during the testing. The aircraft was exceptionally stable through all phases of flight and all aircraft systems and subsystems performed perfectly, including the GCS and GSE. Airworthiness flight testing of the TACAMO will continue through the fourth quarter of 2015 and is scheduled to conclude in the first quarter of 2016. Once airworthiness flight testing is complete, the TACAMO RPAS will begin flight testing of the integrated Stores Release Unit (SRU) and captive-carry of the Bandito PGLM. Concurrently, airworthiness flight testing of the Bandit RPAS will begin following the completion of TACAMO airworthiness flight tests.
10/10/15 In an historic and monumental event in the United States, GT Aeronautics, teamed with Flyspan Systems, will provide the first college-level course on the certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) at the California Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. The single-course certificate program, titled UAS200 - Small Systems UAV Operator Certificate, is listed in the Professional Development section of the Extended University (under Unmanned Aircraft Systems Certificates) and is available to anyone interested in learning about the certification requirements for small unmanned aircraft systems. The class begins on Saturday, October 10, 2015 and continues each Saturday through November 21, 2015. Classes will be held at the Cal Poly University Pomona with hours from 0800-1700 each day. Enrollment is limited to the first 14 students.
07/30/15 The successful flight test of the TACAMO RPAS has enabled the GT Aeronautics' GT-380 (the de-militarized commercial version of the TACAMO RPAS) to begin rigorous flight testing as well. The GT-380 utilizes the same airframe as the TACAMO RPAS, but does not include certain equipment designed for military/DoD use, such as the Stores Release Units (SRU) and other associated equipment and software, making the GT-380 a more cost-effective solution for commercial operators. The GTA management team anticipates requirements for fixed-wing remotely piloted aircraft systems that can carry larger payloads with longer endurance will greatly increase as commercial operation of unmanned aircraft continues to expand. The GT-380, along with the GT-1500 and GT-60, are also designated as initial and advanced trainer aircraft for flight training of small UAS pilots.
07/23/15 The GT Aeronautics' TACAMO RPAS prototype (TACAMO 001) successfully completed its maiden flight today during its third Field Test, allowing the aircraft to enter the more rigorous flight test schedule through the remainder of 2015. All systems and subsystems performed perfectly and the aircraft exhibited very stable flight characteristics, an imperative for carriage of external stores. The flight test schedule will continue through 2015 and include integration of the Stores Release Units (SRUs) to the TACAMO wing and carriage of captive external stores. The SRU was developed by GTA in July 2014 to specifically address enabling capabilities for the GTA family of multi-mission remotely piloted aircraft systems. In addition to carriage and automated release of stores via the Ground Control Station, each SRU can provide power and data transfer to and from the attached store. The maiden flight of the TACAMO RPAS is a monumental event because it confirms the stable flight characteristics of the aircraft design, which is derived from the Bandit RPAS. Flight test data from the TACAMO test flights will provide invaluable data for Bandit RPAS flight testing, which is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015 using the Bandit 002 prototype.
07/23/15 GT Aeronautics completed preliminary testing of a new, Man-Portable Ground Launch Catapult (MPGLC) today during a Field Test in southern California, inwhich a fully-loaded Bandito PGLM was successfully fired from the MPGLC in near zero-wind conditions with temperatures hovering just above 100 degrees. The MPGLC, a 4-foot rail gun with pistol grips, allows dismounted operators of the Bandito PGLM to shoulder-fire the Bandito PGLM weapon system from terrain that is not accessible by wheeled vehicles. The addition of the MPGLC to the Bandito PGLM weapon system provides an additional firing capability and allows multiple operators to fire Bandito PGLMs from multiple locations.
06/04/15 GT Aeronautics is extremely pleased and excited to announce the release of a complete new family of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) exclusively for use by commercial operators and applications. The family of RPAS, the GT-60, GT-380, and GT-1500 will provide non-DoD systems that are completely tailored to commercial operations and the developing FAA airworthiness standards for small unmanned aircraft systems operating in the National Airspace System (NAS). The initial three RPAS are all fixed wing systems, but GT Aeronautics anticipates the new family of RPAS may also include a multirotor system and micro air vehicle (MAV) as well. The new unmanned aircraft systems will be available to all non-DoD customers and organizations beginning in the third quarter of 2015.
04/16/15 The GT Aeronautics' TACAMO RPAS successfully completed the second of a series of powered ground airworthiness tests today in California. Testing included high speed taxi runs inwhich the aircraft was accelerated to sustained speeds up to 60 mph. System and subsystems of the TACAMO continue to perform exceptionally well, clearing the prototype aircraft (TACAMO 001) to the next Field Test that, based on performance, can include its initial flight test. Follow-on testing of the TACAMO RPAS is expected to take place in July 2015.
04/16/15 GT Aeronautics successfully completed initial flight testing of a new, low-cost target aircraft, the GT-60. The prototype version of the GT-60 utilized a surrogate airframe to complete testing of the avionics, flight controls, and engine components and is the test-bed aircraft for the developing final version (airframe) of the GT-60. Testing also included the Ground Control Station software, command and control link, and payload communication link(s). The GT-60 (surrogate) will continue flight testing with focus on the avionics subsystems and Ground Control Station software. The final version of the GT-60 airframe began development in March 2015 and is expected to be complete by August 2015. Flight testing will transition to the final version of airframe in September 2015 and continue for approximately 3-6 months. The GT-60 will include a modular payload bay and is expected to provide a low-cost remotely piloted aircraft system for commercial industry applications that require a fixed wing aircraft.
02/06/15 The GT Aeronautics Flight Team completed the first of a series of powered ground airworthiness tests of the TACAMO RPAS today. The TACAMO RPAS operated under its own power for the first time, completing initial system and subsystem tests and performing numerous low and medium speed taxi runs. All systems performed exceptionally well. Completion of the initial powered ground airworthiness test clears the prototype aircraft (TACAMO 001) to the next Field Test inwhich similar testing of the overall system and subsystems are completed in addition to low and high speed taxi runs. The TACAMO RPAS is the first prototype unmanned aircraft to include two integrated Stores Release Units (SRU) that enable carriage and release of external payloads. In addition to carriage and automated release of stores via the Ground Control Station, each SRU can provide power and data transfer to and from the attached store. The SRU was developed by GTA in July 2014 to specifically address enabling capabilities for the GTA family of multi-mission remotely piloted aircraft systems. Follow-on testing of the TACAMO RPAS is expected to take place within the next two months.
01/27/14 Lab testing of an improved version of the GT Aeronautics' Stores Release Unit (SRU) was completed today. The modified SRU included improvements to its design that increased the amount of payload that can be carried and released in flight. The original SRU was capable of carriage and release of payloads weighing up to 10 pounds. The improved SRU can now safely carry and release payloads weighing as much as 30 pounds.
12/20/14 The GT Aeronautics' TACAMO RPAS has completed its scheduled lab testing and will undergo initial flight testing in January 2015. Flight testing of the TACAMO RPAS will include testing of the integrated Stores Release Unit (SRU).
09/11/14 GT Aeronautics was again selected by Compass Systems, Inc. to manufacture additional composite wing upgrades to a modified version of their Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS). Similar to the original wing upgrades, the new wing upgrades significantly enhance the performance of the Compass Systems' RPA, but also accommodate additional electronic equipment carried as payload by the RPA. Flight testing of the new composite wing upgrades is anticipated for 1st quarter 2015.
08/08/14 GT Aeronautics successfully completed a series of special simulated combat missions with the Bandito PGLM weapon system at an exercise held at the Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu flight test ranges in California, sponsored by the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake. The Bandito PGLM, operating as a ground-based air defense weapon, integrated to a variety of commercial and DoD systems at the exercise to complete the littoral environment combat missions within the NBVC flight test ranges. Mission completion rate was 100% and post-analysis mission data revealed that the Bandito PGLM is currently the best system available for execution of the special combat missions flown. Development of the Bandito PGLM will continue through 2016 as the system is modified to expand its capabilities and flight envelope to include a wide variety of both offensive and defensive missions.
07/26/14 GT Aeronautics engineers developed and completed the first prototypes of the GTA Stores Release Unit (SRU) for small remotely piloted aircraft (RPA). The prototype SRU was designed, built, and tested in only three weeks during the month of July. The first SRUs will be installed for flight testing on the GT Aeronautics TACAMO RPAS to complete a number of flight tests involving small payloads mounted externally on the aircraft.
04/11/14 For the fourth consecutive year, GT Aeronautics was honored to host the faculty and students of the 2013-14 National Defense University (NDU) Eisenhower School of Robotics and Autonomous Industry Study (RAS IS) today at the GTA facility in Simi Valley, California. NDU Eisenhower School faculty and students were presented with a brief discussing the formation of GT Aeronautics in 2002 and the steady progression and growth of the company over the last 12 years. Following the brief, faculty and students were invited to tour the GTA facility and obtain a "hands-on" overview of the GTA unmanned systems and composite manufacturing capabilities. GT Aeronautics would like to thank the National Defense University for visiting with our personnel and for allowing us to share our knowledge and perspective of unmanned systems as they relate to Department of Defense acquisition and the future commercial markets for remotely piloted aircraft and unmanned aircraft.
09/20/13 GT Aeronautics' Tacamo UAS recently completed lab ground testing of its electrical system and flight controls. Initial flight testing of the Tacamo UAS is scheduled for 1st quarter of 2014 and will be followed by stores integration within the 2nd quarter of 2014.
08/26/13 GT Aeronautics was selected by Compass Systems, Inc. to provide composite wing upgrades for a UAV flown by Compass. The upgrades will significantly improve the flight performance of the UAV.
08/09/13 GT Aeronautics successfully completed eight scheduled demonstration flight tests of the Bandito PGLM at the Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu in California, sponsored by the United States Army and the Naval Air Warfare Center at China Lake. The flight tests were conducted in a littoral environment with focus on special tactical missions and cooperative flight with manned and unmanned assets.
08/08/12 GT Aeronautics successfully completed ten scheduled demonstration flight tests of the Bandito PGLM at the Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC) Point Mugu in California sponsored by the United States Army and the Naval Air Warfare Center at China Lake. The flight tests were conducted in a littoral environment with focus on special tactical missions and cooperative flight with manned and unmanned assets.
02/29/12 GT Aeronautics has upgraded the test schedule for the Bandito PGLM to include the integration of additional subsystem(s) for special mission sets. The upgraded test schedule will continue through 2012 and includes integration of an IR camera for night/all-weather operations.
01/20/12 In connection with development work on the Bandit UAS, GT Aeronautics has initiated rapid development of its Tacamo UAS. The Tacamo is the 1/2 sized brother to the Bandit UAS and has a wingspan of nine feet. The development effort includes initial test flights by the 2nd quarter of 2012 and stores integration by the 3rd quarter of 2012. Tacamo is designed to operate at cruise speeds in excess of 150 mph while performing multi-mission roles that involve various internal and external payloads.
08/15/11 GT Aeronautics recently completed a 5-month series of Bandito PGLM flight tests that culminated with demonstration flights at Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu. The 16" wingspan Bandito "C" PGLM completed 13 scheduled missions. The special tactical mission sets were flown over-water and successfully demonstrated the tactical capabilities of the Bandito PGLM, as well as cooperative flight with manned aircraft and IFR flight capabilities.
07/15/11 GT Aeronautics has initiated rapid development of the Bandit UAS for operations that fulfill its "multi-mission" capabilities with regard to the Bandito MAV. The rapid development effort will culminate in a variety of test flights that will take place in late 2011 or early 2012.
05/20/11 GT Aeronautics successfully completed integration of its Ground Launch Catapult (GLC) system to the Bandito PGLM Ground Control Station. The GLC was incorporated to the GCS by integration to a roof-mounted rotary turntable that permits stationary or mobile launch of the Bandito PGLM regardless of wind conditions. The successful integration effort permits stand-alone operation of the the Bandito PGLM from its mobile, HUMVEE-capable GCS.
02/10/11 GT Aeronautics was awarded a one year contract by the USMC for continued development of the Bandito PGLM. The contract explores specific mission sets that exploit the high speed and manueverability of the Bandito while utilizing current battlefield technologies.
11/30/10 GT Aeronautics recently completed a series of flight tests of the Bandito PGLM at the Eglin AFB in Florida. The flight tests involved special mission sets that exploit the high speed of the Bandito PGLM and its ability to locate and prosecute ground targets.
09/02/10 GT Aeronautics has been awarded a 3-year Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD) located at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California. The agreement will support the continued development of the company's Bandit HKUAS, TACAMO UAS, and Bandito MAV and explore weaponization and cooperation of unmanned systems.
05/11/10 GT Aeronautic's Bandito PGLM has successfully completed a 4-month series of development and test flights culminating in demonstration flights at the China Lake test range that continue to explore expanded mission sets of the high speed, 14" wingspan micro air vehicle. A multi-mission capable MAV, the Bandito MAV was re-designated a Precision Guided Loitering Munition (PGLM) as it continues to develop its capabilities to prosecute both ground and air targets. Company officials noted that the recent demonstration flights for the micro air vehicle were conducted from a new, mobile Ground Control Station and used an internally-designed Ground Launch Catapult system that resulted in 100% mission completion. All takeoffs and landings are conducted in an automatic mode with no input from Ground Control Station operators. The Bandito PGLM carries payloads specifically configured for the mission being flown and can operate at speeds in excess of 120 mph. Flight testing will continue through 2013 for a variety of mission sets that will include both day and night operations.
04/17/10 The Bandito PGLM "B" and "C" versions completed two 3-day flight test periods over the last three weeks with focus on special mission sets and software improvements. The Bandito PGLM "C" made its first official flights during the most recent 3-day test period in April, completing all phases of flight including automatic launch and recovery with winds in excess of 40 mph. The new "C" version improves the endurance and payload capabilities of the Bandito PGLM for ground launched missions.
03/18/10 GT Aeronautics announced development and integration of a networked command and control system as well as a radar system to the Ground Control Station of the Bandito PGLM. The effort will support special mission sets for the Bandito PGLM. Further details of the development and integration effort will be released at a later date.
03/13/10 The Bandito PGLM "B" completed another round of flight testing this week for special mission sets. The testing involved upgrades to software that enhanced specific operating features of the Bandito and improved precision during certain phases of flight profiles. Additional upgrades to the Ground Control Station were also tested.
03/01/10 GT Aeronautics has upgraded the Ground Control Station for its family of unmanned aircraft systems. The new GCS upgrades include installation in an S-250 shelter that mounts within the bed of a HUMVEE, thus permitting control of the UASs while "on the move". The upgrade improves the mobility and survivability of UAS operators in battlefield or threat environments. Additional upgrades include the addition of data displays that provide various video and air picture data to operators. The upgrades were added to compliment new mission sets for the Bandito PGLM and Bandit UAS.
02/28/10 Tooling for the "Charlie" version of the Bandito MAV was completed on schedule in February. Manufacture of the first 16" wingspan Bandito will begin on 01 March and is scheduled for completion by 12 March.
02/20/10 GT Aeronautics completed the first of a series of special mission flight testing of the Bandito MAV. Some of the mission sets include air-to-ground attack roles as a precision guided loitering munition. The aircraft has been re-designated as the Bandito PGLM for those missions. The recent flight tests covered a three-day period and included software upgrades to the Bandito MAV and Ground Control Station that take advantage of the high speed and maneuverability of the Bandito and adapts the aircraft to the special mission requirements. Additional testing of the automatic takeoff and landing capabilities of the system were also completed. Company officials note that the Bandito MAV does not no longer requires manual inputs from an operator during takeoff and landing and that the landings are within 20 feet of the designated GPS latitude/longitude of the Land Point.
02/01/10 GT Aeronautics began tooling for a modified Bandito MAV that will have a 16" wingspan. The slight increase in size will provide some improvements for the ground-launched version of the aircraft that will participate in an upcoming exercise at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. Tooling is expected to be complete by the end of February with manufacture of the first "Charlie" version of the Bandito by mid-March. Both the "B" and "C" versions of the Bandito will begin a rigorous flight testing phase over the next few months for a special mission. The "C" version of the Bandito will retain all of the high speed characteristics of the smaller "B" version, yet improve endurance slightly and also accommodate additional payload capabilities.
11/20/09 Tacamo, the half-sized brother of the Bandit, began taking shape during October and November. Tooling for the nose and tail section were completed during October and the first two weeks of November and the first main sections of the fuselage will be manufactured in December. Wing and tail are scheduled for manufacture in January 2010. The Tacamo is the second member of the GT Aeronautic's family of unmanned aircraft and exploits the same modular construction and multi-mission capabilities of GT Aeronautic's UASs. The aircraft is a smaller, high-speed version of the Bandit and utilizes many of the same subsystems, including modular payload capabilities, wing hard points for external stores, and a high-speed laminar flow airfoil coupled with leading and trailing-edge high-lift devices.
10/30/09 GT Aeronautics completed a series of flight tests of the Bandito MAV in Utah this past week to implement upgraded software and identify any flight characteristics that could affect Bandito MAV mission effectiveness. Two complete days of flight testing were completed along with the software implementation. All of the flights were ground-launched using a launch catapult system developed by GT Aeronautics in March 2009. The Bandito MAV is slated for air launch flight operations in early 2010.
08/29/09 The Bandito MAV will begin additional flight testing through the last two quarters of 2009 with upgraded avionics and new software. Flight testing will continue to explore new mission sets, with particular focus on special operations and other missions. The exceptionally high speed and payload capability of the Bandito MAV makes it the only micro air vehicle capable of such missions. The upcoming flight tests will also greatly increase the endurance of the Bandito and provide a mission flexibility that is well beyond the capability of any micro air vehicle flying today.
08/17/09 With completion of the recent AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America 2009, the GTA team is back to work completing the fuselage wiring harness and main landing gear installations on the Bandit UAS. The fuselage wiring harness includes basic flight control plus additional subsystems that the Bandit UAS will utilize. Furthering the multi-mission and modular capability of the Bandit, the wiring harness of the Bandit aircraft will be plug and play adaptable to at least two autopilots. The retractable main landing gear was installed and utilizes modularity as well - only four bolts are required for installation/removal of the entire main landing gear. The main struts are fully retractable and incorporate full suspension for high energy landings on short, unimproved runways. Load and swing testing of the landing gear began and will continue through the next few months to make any modifications or improvements.
07/04/09 Happy Independence Day! As we celebrate our 233rd year of independence and freedom in the United States of America today, take a moment to remember the thousands of U.S. soldiers and their families that provide us the freedom to enjoy our lives and country safely and without fear of attack from terrorists or other nations. Say a prayer for them - they sacrifice and fight for our freedom every day all over the world. Also remember the multitude of scientists, engineers, lab technicians, program managers and all of the people involved in the creation and development of the technology that provides our troops with the best equipment that money can buy to keep them safe and protected. These people work very hard to develop new technology - and they do it in the name of our independence and freedom. Regardless of your political stand, honor the committment of our government officials to our United States of America. It takes an inordinate amount of dedication to do their job, so our government officials deserve our support and gratitude for volunteering to serve our country in jobs that are difficult and, many times, thankless. Use today - Independence Day - to renew your understanding that "supporting" our troops means supporting not just the troops, but the work they do as well. Renew your American spirit and truly live your support of these individuals - and the United States of America - every day! Be proud to be an American and never be ashamed of our lifestyle, our freedom, and our committment to provide the same to others that are less fortunate. And as always...God Bless America!
06/05/09 GT Aeronautics is continuing the avionics equipment installation on its Bandit UAS as aircraft 001 nears initial flight testing. With the airframe complete, current work involves the installation of the electrical system, avionics, and flight control actuators. GT Aeronautics has selected Defense Technologies' Go-C geo-referenced, gyro-stabilized camera for the main video sensor of the Bandit UAS. The company also notes that the first prototype, Bandit 001, will be completed with all four underwing hardpoints completely wired for external stores carriage and that airframe 002 is 60% complete.
05/19/09 GT Aeronautics successfully completed three months worth of flight testing with their Bandito MAV that explored expanded mission sets and greatly expands the capability of the high speed, 14" wingspan micro air vehicle. In addition to performing as a high speed ISR platform, the Bandito MAV may eventually take on the role of a loitering munition with the capability to prosecute a variety of targets, both on the ground and in the air. The flight testing will discontinue temporarily through the summer while data from the latest test flights is analyzed, beginning again in the third and/or fourth quarters of 2009. Company officials note that the Bandito MAV completed a number of tests at speeds greater than 100 mph during the March - May test period and exhibited excellent mission readiness with nearly a 100% mission completion rate. The Bandito MAV is currently configured with either one or two high resolution color cameras and can operate at speeds in excess of 120 mph. Ground takeoffs and landings are automatic and do not require input from the GCS operator.
01/09/09 GT Aeronautics started the new year with the announcement of the development of its TACAMO UAS. The Tacamo began taking shape in the first week of 2009 with the manufacture of tooling for certain airframe components. Development of the Tacamo will take place rapidly, as the aircraft utilizes over 80% of the tooling used for the Bandit UAS. The announcement to begin immediate development of the aircraft is driven by upcoming company demonstration requirements. Company officials state that the first prototype of the aircraft will complete its first flights under the direct control of a ground pilot, with monitoring systems installed to retrieve flight data. The Tacamo UAS is expected to achieve cruise speeds in excess of 150 mph with a top speed of over 200 mph. The aircraft is a "half-size" version of the Bandit UAS and utilizes many of the same features, including retractable landing gear, 650 watt generator and onboard engine start. Payloads will include an EO/IR camera(s). The Tacamo is configured with additional payload stations, but those payloads have not yet been disclosed. The modular configuration of the aircraft and its reduced size permit multiple configurations of the platform for use in a variety of mission profiles.
01/01/09 HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!
09/29/08 GT Aeronautics continues to push the flight envelope of its Bandito MAV aircraft. Throughout the summer of 2008 the aircraft completed rigorous flight testing in a demanding desert environment where temperatures exceeded 100 degrees and winds were in excess of 20 mph. Flight tests included automatic takeoff and landing, waypoint navigation, automatic and manual loiters, and high speed, low altitude flights. Most recently, the GTA flight team completed a full week of flight testing of Banditos 004, 006, 007 and 008 at the U.S. Army Joint Training Center in Camp Guernsey, Wyoming. The flight tests were designed to explore more challenging terrain for the automatic takeoff and landing capability, in addition to refinement of the aircraft optic payloads. Army officials at Camp Guernsey state that the terrain in the military operating area is very similar to the terrain that U.S. troops currently experience and that it provides a realistic training environment for all of the services to use. The Bandito MAVs completed 22 flights over a three day period of flight ops that included coordinated flight operations with manned aircraft performing live air drops on a drop zone less than one mile from the Bandito launch and recovery point. The Bandito MAV flights concentrated on optical targeting guidance inwhich the aircraft will lock and track moving ground targets using its payload cameras. The flight team also worked on longer range waypoint navigation, increased payload weights, endurance, semi-autonomous flight with manual operator inputs, short field takeoff and landing operations, and enhanced flight performance features. The Bandito MAVs performed extremely well and the all-composite Kevlar airframe proved undeniably that it can withstand the harshest landing punishment in challenging terrain environments. Company officials state that Bandito MAV flight test work will continue through 2008, but that the Bandit UAS will become the major focus as the company heads into 2009. To view a short video of a Bandito MAV flight at Camp Guernsey, click here.
06/13/08 At AUVSI's Unmanned Systems North America 2008 from June 10-12, GT Aeronautics debuted its Bandito MAV and also provided the first glimpse to the public of its Bandit UAS. The aircraft were displayed at the exhibit booth of Defense Technologies, Inc., a recent teaming partner of GT Aeronautics that provides common ground control station technology and a variety of other unmanned system components. The conference and exhibition took place at the San Diego Convention Center in downtown San Diego. AUVSI Unmanned Systems North America is considered the largest unmanned system conference in the world.
05/23/08 GT Aeronautic's flight team completed a series of flight tests with Bandito MAVs 004 and 006 from 5/20 to 5/22 this week that validated more of the high speed aircraft's performance specifications. Utilizing an endurance motor and propeller setup, Bandito MAV 006 completed high speed runs of just under 110 mph and also validated automatic takeoffs, loiters, and autolands in high wind conditions of up to 40 mph, as well as completing two night flights. Bandito MAV 004 successfully completed flights with new underwing pylons that are capable of carrying a wide variety of sensors under each wing. In this latest series of flights, 004 carried 3 cameras aloft, including a forward look camera, a side look camera, and a special targeting camera. The flights also validated higher gross takeoff weights and landings in the same high wind conditions. The Bandito MAV has met all of its performance specifications thus far and continues to display its versatility while maintaining its role as the smallest, fastest MAV in the world capable of completely automatic flight in winds as high as 40 mph.
05/10/08 GT Aeronautics today has dubbed its RQ-2 unmanned aircraft system "TACAMO" (pronounced "Tak' uh Mo") due to a competing company's target drone that utilizes the TACAMO's former name of Outlaw. Henceforth, the little brother to the Bandit UAS is the Tacamo UAS. The name is derived from an acronym used in a major aerospace company. We'll leave it up to all of you to figure it out! Enjoy the challenge!
05/02/08 Since October 2007, GT Aeronautics has continued flight testing of its Bandito MAV. A series of flight tests in October 2007 validated automatic takeoffs and automatic landings, as well as waypoint navigation. A flight test in January 2008 validated flight in inclement weather, where temperatures hovered in the low 30's, with heavy winds and snow flurries. Most recently, in April 2008, a series of flight tests confirmed total autonomy in heavy winds, with Bandito 004 completing flights in winds that exceeded 30 mph, with gusts as high as 37 mph. The aircraft accomplished automatic takeoff and automatic landings in these conditions, with a landing accuracy within 15 feet of the designated landing point. Aircraft stability proved rock-solid throughout the flights. During the flights, aircraft 004 carried two color CCD cameras - one forward look and one side look. Camera views are switchable in flight and provided continuous, recorded video throughout the flights. The Bandito MAV can be configured for endurance or speed. During the April flight tests, Bandito 004 was configured for endurance. The aircraft cruised at 50 mph, yet still achieved a top straight and level airspeed of just under 100 mph. Company officials will not disclose the top speed of the Bandito when configured for speed, but state that it is well in excess of 100 mph. The completion of the most recent flight testing of the Bandito MAV allows the aircraft to proceed to its next mission testing sequence - once again, undisclosed. The Bandito MAV has achieved all of its flight specifications thus far and is the smallest, fastest MAV in the world that is capable of completely automatic flight operation in winds greater than 30 mph.
09/30/07 GT Aeronautics has completed the first prototype of its RQ-1 Bandit unmanned aircraft system. The aircraft, 001, is undergoing avionics integration, which is expected to be completed in October 2007. The aircraft will complete a series of ground tests prior to flight testing. Initial flight testing is expected in November 2007 and will continue through 2008. GT Aeronautics has initiated Experimental Certification of the RQ-1 Bandit with the FAA and anticipate certification sometime in the first quarter of 2008.
09/14/07 GT Aeronautics completed the final installation of the retractable landing gear system of its RQ-1 Bandit UAS. The RQ-1 Bandit utilizes modular systems in its construction and the landing gear is no exception. Company officials state that the entire retractable main landing gear of the Bandit can be completely replaced in less than five minutes, thus reducing maintenance man-hours and increasing system readiness. The Bandit is scheduled for test flights in the final quarter of 2007.
06/19/07 GT Aeronautics has removed all of the active email links on our website. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our clients and viewers of our website.
05/26/07 Proxy Aviation Systems, Inc. of Germantown, Maryland has selected GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California to provide support services during the development and testing of their advanced unmanned aircraft systems.
02/07/2007 GT Aeronautics has initiated FAA Experimental Certification for its RQ-1 Bandit and RQ-3 Bandito MAV unmanned aircraft systems. The move will permit the company aircraft to fly in the National Airspace System (NAS) (with specific limitations) and allow the company to perform an aggressive flight test schedule for both of the aircraft. Flight testing of the RQ-3B Bandito began late in 2006 and will continue throughout 2007. The RQ-1 Bandit, nearly complete and an anticipated contender for the U.S. Marine Corps TIER II requirement, is expected to begin flight testing in the second quarter of 2007.
01/07/2007 GT Aeronautics begins a new and exciting year in the unmanned aircraft industry with a new and exciting change to our main homepage. Due to the increasing amount of news within GT Aeronautics, you'll notice the heading at the top of this update window has changed from the former heading of "RPUAS/UAS Update" to the new heading of "GTA UPDATE". This section will now be used to provide a more indepth look at the development of unmanned aircraft systems at GT Aeronautics through the year and the progress the company is making toward its goal of providing Homeland Security Through Innovations in Aerospace". The new format will include the date and aircraft system in bold type followed by the new information about that system. Complete company information (including past years) is now located under the "NEWS & EVENTS" tab under the new sub-heading of "Company News". We invite your comments and look forward to another great year in 2007.
01/05/2007 RQ-1 Bandit: Tooling for the engine mount of the RQ-1 Bandit was completed in November 2006. On 01/05, the first all-composite engine mount for the Bandit was removed from its mold for final finishing. The all-graphite engine mount supports the modified BME 110 engine that will be used for the first Bandit prototype.
01/03/2007 RQ-1 Bandit: GT Aeronautics intends to target U.S. Marine Corp Tier II requirements with its RQ-1 Bandit UAS. The modular aircraft is the first in a family of unmanned aircraft that utilize modular components for construction. The RQ-1 Bandit is currently the largest of three aircraft in development at GT Aeronautics. The short takeoff/landing (STOL) aircraft is designed to cruise at speeds in excess of 100 knots with a takeoff and landing speed of approximately 35 knots. Endurance is projected at over eight hours.
12/15/2006 RQ-3 Bandito MAV: Flight testing of the RQ-3B aircraft is continuing with excellent results. Endurance is increasing with continued refinement of the selected battery, motor and propeller. The aircraft exceeded its projected dash speed so far with a speed trap run in excess of 150 mph at full payload weight. Slow flight testing continues to provide better results witht the aircraft sustaining speeds as low as 50 mph. The aircraft is flying on autopilot and completing calibration and integration flights.
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