16-Nov-2010 Source: AAI
Nov 15, 2010 â€” AAI, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that its team has been selected to participate in Phase I of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Transformer program. The winning team also includes fellow Textron businesses Bell Helicopter and Textron Marine & Land Systems, as well as Carter Aviation Technologies LLC, Terrafugia, Inc. and the U. S. Army Research Laboratory – Vehicle Technology Directorate.
Under this award, the team will pursue system conceptual design, risk reduction and demonstration planning activities for an autonomous vehicle capable of both all-terrain land operation and vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) flight. Dubbed the Transformer, the vehicle would be able to accommodate missions including interdiction, counterinsurgency, reconnaissance, medical evacuation and logistics.
The team’s design incorporates Slowed Rotor/Compound (SR/Câ„¢) technology, which provides fixed-wing aircraft cost and performance with the benefits of VTOL capability. SR/C technology was originally created and extensively tested by Carter Aviation Technologies. AAI and Carter entered into an exclusive licensing agreement in 2009, under which AAI intends to incorporate SR/C technology into manned and unmanned aircraft designs for multiple applications.
In addition, the team offers Textron Marine & Land Systems’ knowledge of ground vehicles, including mobility solutions through its recently acquired Millenworks business for demanding on- and off-road applications. Bell Helicopter provides extensive rotorcraft and propulsion system expertise, and Terrafugia brings trade studies and experience with exploration of combined flying/driving vehicles. The Army Research Laboratory – Vehicle Technology Directorate provides rotor analysis for AAI’s various SR/C programs.
“We have assembled a world-class team to make this highly complex, challenging set of requirements come to life,” says Vice President of Unmanned Aircraft Systems Steven Reid of AAI. “Unmanned technology has the ability to spark the imagination; and in this case, the Transformer vehicle also serves as an important step toward realizing future unmanned applications that keep our troops safe and successful in their missions. This team has the technology expertise, experience and sheer enthusiasm to make the Transformer vehicle a reality.”
Phase I of the DARPA Transformer program will culminate in 15 months, after which DARPA will choose whether or not to exercise options for further development under Phases II and III.
AAI Corporation and its indirect wholly owned subsidiaries Aerosonde Pty Ltd and ESL Defence Limited design, produce and support industry-leading aerospace and defense products and services, including unmanned aircraft and ground control technologies; high-fidelity training and simulation systems; automated aerospace test and maintenance equipment; armament systems; and logistical, engineering, supply chain and operational support services. AAI Corporation is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at www.aaicorp.com.
About Textron Systems
Textron Systems Corporation has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. Known for its unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armored vehicles, intelligent battlefield and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision smart weapons, piston engines, test and training systems, and total life cycle sustainment services, Textron Systems includes AAI Corporation, Lycoming Engines, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems. Textron Systems Corporation is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at www.textronsystems.com.
About Textron Inc.
Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at www.textron.com.