Advanced Tactics AFRL Transformer
Torrance, California, USA
Advanced Tactics was founded in 2007 in Torrance, California (USA) with a vision to develop unique aircraft for military and commercial. The company currently has four vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft listed on their website and each aircraft can be powered with traditional petroleum fueled engines, hybrid-electric power or all electric power sources. The company is making VTOL aircraft for both Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and air cargo services.
Advance Tactics also provides the following services:
- Product development and rapid prototyping
- Electronics prototyping, manufacture and assembly
- Embedded and desktop software development
- Aircraft and rotorcraft simulation and modeling
- Control system design, analysis and implementation
The AFRL Transformer is a multicopter VTOL aircraft and road vehicle which can be used for both passenger and cargo transportation. The combination aircraft and road vehicle can be configured with six or eight propellers and can outfitted with either four or 10 wheels, the ground transportation wheels doubling as landing gear. The AFRL Transformer is a multi-power source combination aircraft and ground vehicle which can be manufactured with petroleum engines, with a hybrid-electric power train or with an all-electric power source. The aircraft is also modular in design.
Advanced Tactics Inc. was awarded a contract for the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Special Ops Transport Challenge in June 2012 (USA).
The U.S. Air Force Special Ops Transport Challenge Goals Are The Following:
- Transport at least two people and their equipment (700 lb total) without being detected
- Provide transport and safe return over a distance of at least 30 kilometers over rugged, mountainous terrain
- Permit packaging for delivery or shipping in the CV-22 cargo hold
- Be able to transition from storage to operation in under four hours
- Operate autonomously in day/night and inclement weather conditions
- Consider OSHA and Air Force safety standards for manned vehicles
The AFRL Transformer has been made to use the maximum space available for passengers and cargo by having almost all the propellers, engines/motors and mechanical flight components outside the fuselage. The aircraft has off-road driving capabilities so that it can reach any destination, whether a suitable landing zone is available or not. The aircraft can also be fitted with skids or flotation devices depending upon the mission.
A subscale AFRL Transformer has been field tested and has been validated on both ground transportation and during flight tests. The company foresees the AFRL Transformer used by the military for multiple types of Special Operations.
- Aircraft type: Petroleum based, hybrid-electric power or all-electric multicopter VTOL passenger and air cargo aircraft and off-road vehicle
- Piloting: Unknown
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Cruise speed: Unknown
- Range: 37 miles (60 km) over rugged mountainous terrain
- Maximum payload: 700 lb (318 kg)
- Propellers: 6 or 8
- Power source: Can be ordered with 6 or 8 petroleum powered engines, a hybrid-electric power source with 6 or 8 electric motors or an all-electric power source with 6 or 8 electric motors
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Landing gear: 4 to 10 wheeled landing gear which also double as wheels for road and off-road ground transportation
- Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft.
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