PteroDynamics to deliver three VTOL prototypes to US Navy

Aircraft manufacturer PteroDynamics has secured a contract to deliver three vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) prototypes for the Blue Water Maritime Logistics UAS (BWUAS) program.

The contract was signed with the US Navy’s Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD).

In 2018, Military Sealift Command and Fleet Forces Command identified a need for the US Navy to develop a capability to autonomously deliver cargo with an unmanned aerial system (UAS) to and from ships at sea.

Their analysis found that 90% of critical repair cargo delivered at sea by helicopters and V-22 aircraft weighed less than 50 pounds.

A VTOL UAS can fill this critical need and free the manned aircraft to perform other higher priority missions, according to the company.

“Using unmanned, autonomous aircraft for delivery of these critical payloads is an important capability for the Navy to have,” said Blue Water’s project lead, Bill Macchione.

“The innovative design of PteroDynamics offers significant potential for both military and civilian missions.”

PteroDynamics is an aircraft design and manufacturing company that has developed a novel VTOL aircraft design that folds its wings during flight to transition between rotorcraft and fixed-wing configurations.

Transwing aircraft has improved controllability in takeoff and landing and typically require 1/3 of the ground footprint as compared to other aircraft with the same wingspan, according to PteroDynamics.