The Office of Naval Research (ONR) awarded $500,000 to Aerovel, the maker of the Flexrotor vertical take-off and landing UAV. The aircraft will operate autonomously from ships and in austere areas. Unlike rotary wing UAVs, Flexrotor is a "tailsitter" that takes off vertically then transitions to lifted flight, where it can remain airborne for up to 40 hours. Aerovel is also creating an Automatic Servicing Platform, which will allow unmanned take-off, landing, and servicing of the UAV. The aircraft is equipped with a stabilized imagery system, Alticam, from Hood Technology. The aircraft first flew in 2010.
Flexrotor Tested from Unmanned Boat
19 October 13- Aerovel launches Flexrotor autonomously from a remotely-controlled skiff while underway. The four meter skiff is equipped to launch, retrieve, and automatically service the UAV.