Wide-body drone set to take-off at Farnborough

A new widebody cargo delivery drone with a 48 ft wingspan and a 567 kg load capacity is set to be unveiled at the Farnborough International Airshow in July this year.

US-based Yates Electrospace Corp (YEC) said that the new unmanned aircraft, the Silent Arrow GD-2000 WB, is a wide-body version of its GD-2000 cargo delivery drone.

Developed by YEC, based on demand from US and allied foreign governments, the new version is 60% larger than the standard model, with a 140cu/ft cargo bay that “accommodates five times more life-saving supplies, medicines and tactical cargo”.

Chip Yates, YEC’s founder and chief executive, said: “The YEC engineering team used current flight data from the inaugural GD-2000 product line along with extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to optimize the aerodynamics and glide ratio of this rather massive cargo delivery platform.

“With two launch customers on hand, our accelerated schedule delivers development units by the end of March 2020 and 10 flight test units throughout the second and third quarters of 2020.”

A full scale, flight-ready Silent Arrow GD-2000 cargo delivery drone was unveiled in September 2019. Designed for immediate air response and emergency relief, Silent Arrow’s spring-deployed wing system transported inside the fuselage, high standoff distance and low cost has received “enthusiastic reception from both the tactical resupply and the humanitarian/disaster relief markets,” said YEC in a statement.

YEC added that Silent Arrow is designed for “fixed-wing and rotorcraft deployment of critically needed supplies, cargo and fuel under austere operating conditions and timelines”.

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