GE Aviation is teaming with Hybrid Project to provide a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for high-endurance commercial applications. Flight testing will commence in Q4 2019 with commercial availability targeted for Q1 2020.
The agreement enhances Hybrid Project's 35 lb hybrid-powered SuperVolo VTOL UAV with products from GE Aviation and Auterion. GE Aviation's computing platform enables flight control and airborne computing power at the edge while maintaining an independent and authoritative safety controller. Auterion's Enterprise PX4 operating system resides on the vehicle, in the cloud, and the ground station. This integration is the result of an agreement announced earlier this year between GE Aviation and Auterion to provide an all-in-one commercial drone hardware and software platform.
"The combination of Hybrid Project's SuperVolo airframe, GE Aviation's computing platform, and Auterion's software stack enables an all-in-one solution that readily scales for commercial applications," said Matt Vacanti, product leader, Avionics Systems for GE Aviation. "A highly integrated system is critical to achieving scalable commercial UAV operations."
Hybrid Project's SuperVolo design emphasizes endurance flight, ease of maintenance, and modularity. The combined system is comprised of technologies and services which have the capability to enable commercial operations in complex environments while meeting regulatory and mission outcomes.
"This collaboration, and the combined solution, will increase commercial operator flexibility, efficiency, and overall performance to a level not previously available in its class," said Ryan Pope, co-founder of Hybrid Project.
Auterion's Enterprise PX4 software is built on top of open software standards that are supported by a global developer community. Auterion's enterprise software also provides the infrastructure enabling online workflows, compliance monitoring, and enterprise fleet management. "With Auterion software, the Hybrid Project SuperVolo flies farther, safer, and more efficiently, unlocking new beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capabilities and missions that were previously not possible before commercial drones of this class were available," said Auterion co-founder Kevin Sartori.
The full solution is designed specifically for commercial operators and service providers. Visit the Hybrid Project booth #937 at the Commercial UAV Expo for an in-person view of the aircraft on Oct. 29 – 30, 2019. Pre-orders for SuperVolo configurations are being accepted with deliveries starting in Q1 2020.