HAMR distributed electric multirotor UAV in advanced stage of development for tactical ISR missions for the United States Air Force

Advanced Aircraft Company (AAC), a developer and manufacturer of distributed electric propulsion tilt-wing and multi-rotor uncrewed aircraft systems for defense applications, today announced it has been selected by AFWERX for an SBIR Phase II contract focused on the further development to investigate its potential to fill capability gaps in the Department of the Air Force (DAF).  This contract will enable AAC to continue the development of its highly versatile Hybrid Advanced Multi-Rotor (HAMR) Uncrewed Aerial System (UAS) for the United States Air Force. 

HAMR combines a unique multi-rotor configuration with distributed electric propulsion for extended endurance and multiple, simultaneous payload capabilities. The aircraft can be optimized for a wide range of defense applications and mission profiles, including tactical ISR, perimeter security, search and rescue, and medical supply delivery missions. HAMR also serves as a force multiplier, providing a significant increase in ISR capabilities relative to DoD’s incumbent tactical ISR UAS to better serve our warfighters.

“We are thrilled to have been awarded an SBIR Phase II contract and look forward to continuing development of our UAS to aid our warfighters on the battlefield,” said Paul Allen, CEO of AAC. “Our HAMR UAV’s high-performance, efficient propulsion system, rugged aerodynamic airframe, ease of use, and serviceability in the field make it ideally suited for demanding military operations in the most austere environments.”

HAMR’s distributed electric propulsion system incorporates an electronic fuel-injected and computer-controlled dual piston engine driving an integrated electric generator producing up to 4000W to power the onboard sensors, six independent brushless DC electric motors, and a backup battery. 

HAMR’s capabilities bridge the gap between today’s Group 1 and Group 2 UAS with a maximum payload capacity of twelve pounds. Multiple redundant systems, remote in-flight engine starting, and onboard batteries ensure the aircraft can operate with a high margin of safety. 

The aircraft employ line replaceable units (LRUs), ensuring rapid in-the-field servicing with minimal training, ensuring minimum operational downtime. A continuous development program lengthens aircraft service life and increases its capabilities as new technologies are integrated over time.

The HAMR’s dual payload bays allow for multiple sensors/devices to be carried simultaneously or for increased fuel capacity. An open modular architecture allows for rapid payload reconfiguration depending on the application and mission. Operators can choose from a range of commercially available optical or infrared cameras and LiDAR systems. HAMR can carry standard payloads for defense applications, including electro-optical (EO), infrared (IR), and communications systems.  

Additionally, the HAMR is highly portable and can be launched within minutes without the need for ground support infrastructure. The system can be disassembled and stored in a single case and easily transported in a conventional civilian or small military vehicle.

The Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX have partnered to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process by accelerating the small business experience through a faster proposal to award timelines, changing the pool of potential applicants by expanding opportunities to small business and losing bureaucratic overhead by continually implementing process improvement changes in contract execution. The DAF began offering ‘The Open Topic’ SBIR/STTR program in 2018 which expanded the range of innovations the DAF funded and now AAC will continue its journey to create and provide innovative capabilities that will strengthen the national defense of the United States of America.

About Advanced Aircraft Company

Advanced Aircraft Company (AAC) develops long-endurance tilt-wing and multirotor uncrewed aircraft systems for defense applications. Utilizing Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) systems and aerodynamic airframes, the aircraft are designed for long-endurance operations and can carry multiple sensor and cargo payloads. Designed to meet the rapidly evolving requirements of our warfighters, AAC VTOL UAS offers high speed, long range and can operate in the most austere land and maritime conditions with no operational infrastructure required. AAC is a veteran-owned and operated company founded in 2017 and headquartered in Hampton, Virginia. To learn more, visit www.flyaac.com.

About AFRL

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space, and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 11,000 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit: www.afresearchlab.com.

About AFWERX

AFWERX, a program office at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), connects innovators across government, industry and academia. Through innovation and collaboration with our nation’s top subject-matter experts and harnessing the power of ingenuity of internal talent, by expanding technology, talent, and transition partnerships for rapid and affordable commercial and military capability. Additional information is available at: https://www.afwerx.com

By Press