On April 28th, the Swift 020, the first UAS featuring X-Blade Technology™ had a successful completely autonomous marine flight test excursion off the coast in Orange County, CA. The test, one in a series conducted by Swift Engineering, consisted of 8 consecutive fully autonomous launch and recoveries off a boat with an aft deck of 20’ x 30’. The fully autonomous flight tests were executed with the push of one button.
“This is a gamechanger for small marine vessels.”, said Andrew Streett, Chief Scientist for Swift Engineering, “It is a culmination of internal R&D systems development and this success validates the maturity of the Swift020 platform.”
The Swift020 is the culmination of over 13 years of research and development in UAS, creativity and innovation in the UAV marketspace, and Swift heritage and understanding in unmanned systems. The Swift020 Unmanned Air System (UAS) takes off and lands anywhere like a quad-rotor and transitions to efficient fixed-wing forward flight without additional launch and recovery equipment, allowing it to vastly reduce operational time and cost. The Swift020 Unmanned Air System is a family of systems servicing Linear infrastructure, Oil and Gas, Maritime, Emergency Services, Delivery, Agriculture, Scientific Research, Surveillance and Military/Defense markets.
X-Blade Technology™ is the technology and expertise of maximizing the benefits of VTOL with the efficiencies of fixed wing flight; it is a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) transition to horizontal flight technology that does not use rotating mechanisms; all the control is conducted with in the flight control autopilot system. The X-Blade Technology used in the Swift020 Unmanned Air System can be scaled to larger and different configuration platforms.
Swift Engineering is a product development company with over 30 years of experience designing and building high performance vehicles, specializing in unmanned systems, autonomy, robotics, and advanced composites. Swift was founded in 1983 and has produced over 500 vehicles in its 60,000-sq. ft. advanced design and manufacturing facility. In 2000, Swift Engineering diversified in to aerospace vehicles and has worked on space, aerospace, aeronautical, terrestrial and underwater, manned and unmanned, defense and commercial designs and vehicles. In 2001 Swift Engineering started the development of the Swift KillerBee; a runway independent, 4 ft. wingspan, catapult launch and net recovery UAS. By 2009 this vehicle had a 10-ft. wingspan, 15-hour endurance, and can carry a 60-lb. payload. Swift Engineering sold this asset to Northrop Grumman and it was renamed the Northrop Bat.