New, ducted-fan UAV for homeland security and law enforcement missions

Published 8 August 2006

UAVs are growing in popularity, and different companies toy with different materials to manufactire UAVs suitable for different missions

U.K.-based Autonomous Vehicles International (AVi), an unmanned air vehicle

start-up, says it has four electrically powered, dual ducted-fan UAVs in

production, with the first expected to fly by the end of this month. The

Seeker system is a back-packable tactical UAV designed to carry weapons. It

looks similar to the recently unveiled Dragonfly Air Systems Globe Skimmer

UAV. Both systems are based on concepts developed by Kestrel Aerospace.

Flight reports that the AVi demonstrators will be around 24 inches wide and

each duct will have an internal diameter of 246 millimeters. Homeland

security and law enforcement agencies will note that the vehicles will have

a maximum speed of (45 km/h and a 2,000 foot ceiling, but that they are

primarily intended for urban and indoor flight. A standard U.K. doorway is

750 millimeters wide, meaning the design is small enough to navigate indoors.

AVi chief executive Craig Shaw says the demonstrators are around 20 percent larger than the proposed production version, and will be remotely controlled on their initial flights “while we crystalise the design envelope”.

-read more about the Seeker in this report; read more about Dragonflyin this report