GE Aviation has announced a teaming agreement with Hybrid Project to provide a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV designed for high-endurance commercial applications ‘at scale’.
Flight testing will commence in Q4 this year, with commercial availability targeted for Q1 2020.
The agreement sees Hybrid Project’s 35lb hybrid-powered SuperVolo VTOL UAV equipped with a ‘full stack’ airborne computing hardware platform, flight and safety management, and integration from GE Aviation and Auterion.
GE Aviation’s computing platform enables flight control and airborne computing power ‘at the edge, while maintaining an independent and authoritative safety controller’.
Auterion’s Enterprise PX4 operating system resides on the vehicle, in the cloud and in the ground station; this integration is the result of an agreement announced earlier this year between GE Aviation and Auterion to provide an all-in-one hardware and software platform for commercial drones.
Matt Vacanti, product leader (avionics systems) for GE Aviation (www.geaviation.com
), said: “The combination of Hybrid Project’s SuperVolo airframe, GE Aviation’s computing platform and Auterion’s software stack enables an all-in-one solution that readily scales for commercial applications.
“A highly integrated system is critical to achieving scalable commercial UAV operations.”
Hybrid Project’s SuperVolo has been designed ‘from the ground up’ with an emphasis on endurance flight, ease of maintenance and mod-ularity.
The combined system is comprised of technologies and services to enable commercial operations in complex environments, while meeting ‘regulatory and mission outcomes’.
Ryan Pope, co-founder of Hybrid Project, said: “This collaboration and the combined solution will increase commercial operator flexibility, efficiency, and overall performance to a level not previously available in its class.”
Hybrid Project is a VTOL UAV manufacturer specialising in endurance flight and gas/electric hybrid power plants, with a diverse background in machining, aerospace manufacturing, motor-sports, commercial aviation, and robotics.
Auterion offers a leading open-source operating system for drones; it has more than 50 employees in Switzerland and California.