A blast from the past in the drone world and an idea that is perhaps ripe for reinvention. The developers have gone quiet, that means one of two things. It has been picked up and is moving forward or it fell by the wayside.
The Logistic Gliders team flew a full scale LG-1000 prototype and demonstrated stable flight, adequate structural margin and a sufficient glide ratio to carry cargo 70 nautical miles when dropped from an operational altitude. The prototype was designed and built using only $600 in materials – less than 1/3 of the cost of nylon used in today’s cargo parafoils.
The glider was towed aloft using a 100 ft cargo line attached to a Hiller utility helicopter, and released at approximately 1,400 ft above the ground at 48 knots airspeed. A low-altitude helicopter release allowed the ground team to view the flight characteristics of the glider while safely under tow. The low release velocity was chosen to eliminate any risk to the helicopter after glider deployment. Direct radio control was used in lieu of the Airborne Guidance Unit (AGU) since the prototype was not equipped with a braking parachute.
The prototype was equipped with two cameras and two Data Acquisition Systems (DAS). A MUVI DV camcorder was installed on top of the left vertical stabiliser, and HD FlipCam camera was installed under the port wing looking outward toward the wing tip. An Eagle Tree DAS recorded airspeed, altitude and control servo positions. An Arduino-based GPS telemetry system provided LAT/LONG, altitude, heading, and groundspeed data. All telemetry data was stored to a memory card and wirelessly transmitted to a ground-based laptop via a 900 MHZ spread spectrum XBee-PRO XSC RF Modules. Flight control was provided by a digital 72 MHz radio control (RC) system designed for model airplanes. All cameras and DAS survived the landing.