Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Launching UAVs from Manned Aircraft

Snow Aviation International, Inc. (SAI) recently completed a concept validation of UAV airborne basing on a C-130 cargo aircraft, with the manned vehicle serving as a "mothership" capable of launching and recovering the UAV in flight.

The SAI Quick Reaction UAV Program (pdf, pg. 26) was intended to demonstrate mid-flight controlled launch & recapture of a unmanned surveillance aircraft from a C-130 Hercules. Initial test flights in April 2005 included a successful launch and further flights will try out the complete release, flight & redocking cycle.

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