Robot tiltrotor boxcar may fly Navy supply missions

An experimental unmanned flying cargo system, Baldwin Technology's Mono Tiltrotor, would integrate a coaxial rotor, a folding lifting wing system, and a lightweight airframe.

The vertical takeoff and landing tiltrotor is yet another aerial configuration the military would like to add to its unmanned-aircraft inventory.

One experimental model, the Mono Tiltrotor (MTR) by Baldwin Technology, is intended to integrate a coaxial rotor, a folding lifting wing system with a lightweight airframe and sophisticated kinematics to deliver a robotic flying box car. The U.S. Navy wants the MTR, or something similar, to deliver cargo to Marines on the ground.

The unit, referred to generically as Cargo UAS (for Cargo Unmanned Aircraft System), should be autonomous, to the extent that it can take off and land, fly, manage in-flight contingencies, and follow an electronic signal to a landing zone. It must also be smart enough to avoid collisions--especially important, since the Navy may use it to evacuate casualties.

The proposed rotorcraft would be small enough to fit inside a plane, where the crew could kick it out the back loaded with supplies.

MTR air speed is envisioned at a zippy 280 mph; that's with a 1,600-pound payload. Range will be around 330 miles.

And, who knows, Cargo UAS operations may be a good place to park jittery V-22 Osprey pilots.

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    The military establishment's ever increasing reliance on technology and whiz-bang gadgetry impacts us as consumers, investors, taxpayers and ultimately as the defended. Our mission here is to bring some of these products and concepts to your attention based on carefully selected criteria such as importance to national security, originality, collateral damage to the treasury and adaptability to yard maintenance-but not necessarily in that order. E-mail him at Disclosure.


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