Yates Electrospace Corporation (YEC) announced today the launch of a civilian subsidiary, Avius Air Delivery (AAD), and report test flights are underway in Oregon, USA to accelerate adoption by governmental and relief agencies for covid-19 related deliveries of medical supplies.
The company aim to provide immediate air response for humanitarian relief efforts, natural disasters and pandemics such as the current coronavirus crisis, based on the technology of their successful 1-ton, military resupply glider Silent Arrow (SA).
SA’s tightly integrated packaging with its unique spring-deployed wing system transported inside the fuselage, 40-mile standoff distance and low unit cost has received enthusiastic reception from U.S. and foreign militaries and is now being launched as AAD to directly serve humanitarian and disaster relief requirements throughout the world.
The AAD launch product, known as the ‘Mercy-200’, is a single-use, low-cost, autonomous cargo delivery glider, deployed from fixed wing aircraft or helicopter sling load, optimized to immediately transport up to 1,600 pounds of supply, or 26 cubic feet, depending on the commodity being delivered. Loading examples include 3,500 flu/virus vaccines (22-gauge, 1-inch needle/syringe + 0.5 mL vaccines), 336 meals-ready-to-eat (MREs) totaling 420,000 calories, 125 gallons of fresh water, gasoline or jet fuel, and a variety of medical supplies, protective garments, batteries, generators and other emergency rations.
Cargo delivery operations are ongoing from the company’s flight test and qualification centre at the Pendleton, Oregon UAS Test Range, where the ‘Mercy-2000’ is lifted by a helicopter and dropped at a predetermined altitude.
Following release, the on-board autonomous autopilot navigates the aircraft to a distant landing zone at an 8.4 to 1 glide ratio and executes an automated landing within 100 meters of the intended destination.
The ‘Mercy-2000’s’ spring open wing design also allow it to be carried inside narrow cargo transport aircraft and rotorcraft such as the C-17, C-130, CH-53, V-22, Caravan, Skyvan and others, where deployment from 25,000 feet results in the wings springing open to their 28-foot total wingspan, giving up to a 40-mile standoff distance.
Chip Yates, YEC’s founder and CEO, said, “The entire YEC team is dedicated to preparing Avius Air Delivery Delivery for operational readiness in 2020 to provide heavy payload deliveries of vaccines and other critical medical supplies in accordance with the world’s new social distancing realities.”
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