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.
01/05/2007 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.
Previous Company News
11/06/2006 GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California has successfully flown its high-speed remotely piloted micro aircraft system, the RQ-3 Bandito MAV. The aircraft completed four test flights at an undisclosed location near the company's Simi Valley office that investigated stability and control in low and high speed regimes of flight. On one of the flights, the RQ-3 Bandito MAV achieved speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour. The aircraft utilizes an electric motor for propulsion and lithium polymer batteries for power. Company officials noted that the little aircraft is intended for high-speed missions but did not go into detail. The all-composite aircraft is slated to undergo autopilot calibrations over the next few weeks, followed by payload integration.
08/01/2006 GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California has finalized the design of a version of its RQ-3 Bandito unmanned micro aircraft. The RQ-3 Bandito is a scaleable micro aircraft that began with a 7" wingspan. The latest design will feature a 10 inch wingspan to allow for payload and communication equipment. The Bandito uses an electric motor for power and will incorporate both day and night video capabilities. The aircraft is piloted by a single operator and is transportable in a backpack.
06/30/2006 The GT Aeronautics company of Simi Valley, California is pushing up development and flight testing of its micro unmanned aircraft, the RQ-3 Bandito. The company notes that two prototypes of the aircraft have been built and that the Bandito is a scalable micro aircraft with a 10 inch wingspan, able to be carried in a backpack. Flight performance information will be released at a later date.
06/12/2006 GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California has completed the final assembly of the airframe components of its RQ-1 Bandit, mating the wings to the fuselage this past week. The company noted that the design specifics of the wing, spar and fuselage of the first prototype of the Bandit worked perfectly, providing variable angle of attack setups of the wing so that flight experimentation with wing angle of attack may be investigated. On schedule, a second prototype of the RQ-1 Bandit is now also under construction, incorporating new construction techniques that will enhance production of the aircraft. Additionally, GT Aeronautics has made modifications to the retractable landing gear of the Bandit - specifically the nose gear - that provided a lighter and stronger unit overall, in addition to making the nose gear a complete, self-contained, modular unit. The RQ-1 Bandit is an all-composite, modular, multi-role unmanned aircraft capable of short field operations in suburban environments. The aircraft features a modular payload section that allows for rapid payload changes in the field. Design specifications and flight performance numbers for the aircraft have not yet been released, except that the aircraft does not require any special launch or recovery equipment and can operate from unimproved surfaces. Company officials state that more information will be released as the aircraft nears it first flight tests, believed to be in August of 2006. In other company news, GT Aeronautics announced that the company will team with engineers from the Ohio State University on yet another unmanned aircraft project. Details of the arrangement and project will be released later this year.
03/23/2006 GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California completed final assembly of the wings this past week for the prototype of its RQ-1 Bandit unmanned aircraft and will complete integration of the wings to the fuselage over the next few weeks. The RQ-1 Bandit is a modular, multi-role unmanned aircraft capable of short field operations in suburban environments. The aircraft features a modular payload section that allows for rapid payload changes in the field. Design specifications for the aircraft have not yet been released, except that the aircraft does not require any special launch or recovery equipment and can operate from unimproved surfaces. Company officials state that more information will be released as the aircraft nears it first flight tests.
01/23/2006 GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California has finalized modifications to the prototype wing for its RQ-1 Bandit remotely piloted aircraft. The modifications to the modular aircraft included the addition of four wing hardpoints (two per wing) and wiring for carriage of under-wing stores. The type of under-wing stores was not disclosed. The RQ-1 Bandit is the first of a family of multi-role, modular unmanned aircraft capable of short-field takeoff and landings on relatively unprepared surfaces. The Bandit incorporates a modular design to its airframe design that permits rapid assembly/disassembly in the field and easy replacement of parts. The first prototype of the RQ-1 Bandit is scheduled for test flights in the next few months.
12/15/2005 GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California has completed engine modifications to the twin-cylinder engine that will be used to power its RQ-1 Bandit and RQ-2 Outlaw remotely piloted aircraft. The modifications include addition of a 600 watt generator and starter motor. Ground testing of the engine will begin in January 2006. The company is scheduled to fly the first prototype of the RQ-1 Bandit in early 2006.
11/15/2005 GT Aeronautics, LLC of Simi Valley, California recently completed upgrade modifications to the powerplant for the company's RQ-1 Bandit remotely-piloted aircraft and will begin ground tests of the engine in December. The modifications include the addition of a 600-watt generator and an additional system that was not disclosed. The generator will provide power to the aircraft's avionics and sensor systems during cruise with minimal loss of power. Company officials state that even with the modifications, the engine is still the lightest, most powerful engine available. The engine will also be used on the company's RQ-2 Outlaw. Both aircraft are modular, multi-purpose unmanned aircraft designed for rapid deployment and adaptation to military and commercial missions. The RQ-1 Bandit is scheduled for flight testing in the first quarter of 2006.
09/29/2005 GT Aeronautics, LLC of Simi Valley, California began final assembly work this week on the wing panels for the first of five prototypes of the RQ-1 Bandit remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS). Completion of the wing assemblies will conclude manufacture of the major airframe components and company officials believe flight testing of the aircraft will begin in the latter part of 2005 or in early 2006. The RQ-1 Bandit is a modular, remotely piloted aircraft system designed for multi-purpose missions from unimproved surfaces, including ISR and SIGINT missions. The company is also manufacturing a smaller, high-speed version of the Bandit designated the RQ-2 Outlaw and an ultra-high speed micro aircraft designated the RQ-3 Bandito.
09/02/2005 GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California recently completed the assembly of the tail section of its RQ-1 Bandit remotely piloted aircraft. The Bandit is a modular, multi-purpose unmanned aircraft that uses a flying V-tail. The entire V-tail assembly was designed and manufactured inhouse and company officials are very pleased with the results of the work as it met the design weight and performance specifications. The first prototype of the RQ-1 Bandit is in its final assembly stages and the initial flight performance validation test flights will take place later this year. The RQ-1 Bandit is designed for short take off/landing (STOL) rough field operations and has an endurance in excess of 10 hours.
07/14/2005 Many have talked about it, but GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California is actually doing it. The company released today that they have flown an initial test flight of their RQ-3 Bandito, an autonomous micro unmanned aircraft. No details of the flight were released, other than the aircraft performed exactly as expected, was dynamically stable throughout the flight test and did not require an autopilot for flight. Officials believe that the Bandito is the first micro unmanned aircraft to fly that combines inherent flight stability, speed, payload capability with simplicity of design. The company states that the aircraft is being developed for a very specific mission but that further flight testing of the aircraft may expand its roles to other missions. Flying with only a seven inch wingspan, one thing is for sure - the small Bandito is not "vapor technology" - its a reality!
07/04/2005 GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California has initiated work on the second prototype of its RQ-1 Bandit unmanned aircraft. The second prototype will incorporate enhancements to the airframe that reduce the parts count and increase production capabilities. The first prototype is scheduled for flight testing in August of this year. Separately, company officials have alluded to details of the company's micro air vehicle (MAV), designated the RQ-3 Bandito. The finalized design specifications of the aircraft include a wingspan of 7 inches and an overall length of about 10 inches, with a top speed of nearly 200mph. Endurance is limited to approximately 10 minutes of flight time. Company officials will not discuss the intended mission for the speedy little Bandito MAV, but insist that the aircraft will solve a continuing problem for unmanned aircraft operations.
05/21/2005 Today, on Armed Forces Day, the GT Aeronautics company would like to express its gratitude and support to all the men and women of the United States military forces for their continuous dedication to the mission of protecting our freedoms in the United States of America. Your service to your country is exemplary and we appreciate it. Thank you and God bless all of you and your families.
05/11/2005 GT Aeronautics, LLC of Simi Valley, California announced completion of the the all-composite wing panels of its RQ-1 Bandit unmanned aircraft system. The new wing panels incorporate numerous high-lift devices and utilize a new, proprietary composite manufacturing method. Company officials were extremely pleased with the results. Not only were the wing panels completed on schedule, but the new wings beat the preliminary design weight calculations by over 40%. Final assembly of the first prototype aircraft is underway and flight testing is scheduled for the end of June. The RQ-1 Bandit is the first in a family of modular, unmanned aircraft designed by GT Aeronautics to fulfill multi-role applications in the short-field takeoff and landing environment and can be operated from confined urban and rural areas.
04/18/2005 GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California announced that assembly of the first main fuselage section of its RQ-1 Bandit remotely piloted aircraft system will be complete by April 2005 and that final assembly of the first prototype of the aircraft should follow shortly thereafter, in May 2005. The aircraft is scheduled for test flights later this year. The RQ-1 Bandit is a remotely piloted, modular-construction composite aircraft system designed explicitly for the surveillance missions of the U.S. Border Patrol/U.S. military and is the first of a "family" of remotely piloted aircraft designed by the GT Aeronautics team. A "half-sized" version of the Bandit, named the RQ-2 Outlaw is also currently under construction. Company officials note the low cost/high output of the Bandit and Outlaw as major achievements in remotely piloted aircraft design.
02/12/2005 GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California announced the completion of a new, heavy-duty retractable landing gear system for its RQ-1 Bandit RPAS. The landing gear system was designed to withstand very heavy landing accelerations that are encountered during the high approach glidepath angles and high rate-of-descent landings of short field operations. The retractable system allows the Bandit aircraft to accomplish its short field operations and, when retracted, increases its cruise speed by as much as 30 knots. The Bandit is the only unmanned aircraft of its size to incorporate a retractable landing gear that can withstand the rigors of short field operation. The company indicates that shipboard operations may be an option for operational versions of the RQ-1 Bandit. Test flights of the aircraft are scheduled for June of this year.
01/25/2005 GT Aeronautics of Simi Valley, California announced the completion of the airframe tooling for its RQ-1 Bandit multi-purpose, modular UAV. Construction of the first prototype began in early 2004 and will be complete in the next few months. Company officials also noted that the RQ-1 is the "father" of a family of modular UAVs - much of the tooling for the RQ-1 Bandit will be used to fabricate the RQ-2 Outlaw, which is a smaller, high-speed version of the RQ-1 Bandit. Another vehicle under development is the RQ-3 Bandito, another high-speed UAV. The RQ-1 Bandit is scheduled for test flights in June 2005.