Wichita Falls aviation company lands lucrative deal
November 17, 2009 at 8:46 PM CST - Updated June 19 at 1:21 PM
Wichita Falls, TX - Carter Aviation Technologies LLC (Carter) of Wichita Falls, TX is announcing that they have completed negotiations with AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, of Hunt Valley, MD on an exclusive licensing agreement for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) using Carter's revolutionary Slowed Rotor/Compound (SR/C) Aircraft Technology - a combination of rotorcraft and fixed-wing aerodynamics. The 40-year exclusive agreement covers all UAS programs worldwide.
According to Carter President, Jay Carter, Jr., "This is a turning point for Carter. As an R&D company we have been focused on developing and defining our technology and the systems that would enhance its capability. We now have a viable SR/C platform that has the ability to compete in both manned and unmanned sectors with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and high-speed flight, and a trusted partner in AAI. This partnership enables us to combine the unique capabilities of SR/C technology with AAI's unmanned expertise."
AAI is a respected provider of unmanned aircraft systems for customers including the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. Its platforms include Shadow® Tactical Unmanned Aircraft Systems, which have amassed more than 450,000 flight hours; the Aerosonde® fleet of expeditionary small unmanned aircraft systems; and AAI's One System® Ground Control Station and Remote Video Terminal for unmanned command and control, as well as manned/unmanned teaming.
Carter's hybrid technology combines the runway independence of rotorcraft with the cruise efficiency of fixed-wing designs. SR/C technology enables these capabilities by seamlessly transitioning lift between the rotor and the wing based on the specific phase of flight. Carter's SR/C design is a pure autogyro and currently incorporates 20 patents. In the latest, four-place, civil aircraft the empty weight is expected to be 2,200 lbs with a gross weight of 3,500 lbs. The unique rotor system will allow jump take-offs clearing 50-foot obstacles through its vertical takeoff capability. Equipped with a 350 HP twin turbo-charged engine, the performance numbers are impressive. At an altitude of 12,500 feet and max power, the aircraft has a projected speed of 223 mph and, with 500 lbs. of fuel, a range of 768 miles at this max power setting. Flying at best range speed, the aircraft will deliver a range extending to 1465 miles. Maximum speed of 250 mph is projected at 25,000 ft with a range of 879 miles at max power and 1510 miles at best range speed.
Leveraging SR/C technology and the civil four-place primary aircraft components, Carter and AAI have been evaluating a UAS design variant employing a turbine engine. At 7,250 lbs. gross weight, with 4,750 lbs. of useful load, the SR/C UAS is expected to deliver 3000 lbs of cargo to a range of over 1300 nm at speeds of 288 mph. Configured for multi-role UAS missions, the SR/C UAS is expected to deliver endurance in excess of 24 hrs.
All SR/C aircraft variants will be enhanced by incorporation of Carter's patented landing gear and propeller system. The Carter gear absorbs up to 24 ft/second on impact. Carter's highly swept, hollow blade, scimitar propeller design is very light, unusually quiet, more than 90% efficient and can, because of its wide cord, produce up to 30% more static thrust than a comparable stock propeller.
"This is a good day for the Wichita Falls economy, and we believe we can build on this success," Mayor Lanham Lyne commented.