PteroDynamics to Supply Transwing Drones to US Navy
The US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) awarded PteroDynamics a contract to provide three eVTOL drone prototypes by June 2022. According to an Aug. 12 press release, the contract will support the Blue Water Maritime Logistics UAS (BWUAS) program, which the Navy launched in 2018 to develop a capability to autonomously transport critical repair cargo with an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to and from ships at sea. Vertical replenishment, or VERTREP, is today carried out by helicopters, which are more expensive to operate and maintain than UAS.
PteroDynamics will supply its flagship Transwing design, a fixed-wing eVTOL that folds its wings during flight to transition between rotorcraft and fixed-wing configurations. The company has test flown eVTOL versions with wingspans up to 12.3 ft (3.8 m). “Our design is well suited for operations on ships where windy conditions and tight spaces challenge other VTOL aircraft during takeoffs and landings,” said Val Petrov, PhD, founder and CTO of PteroDynamics, in the press prelease statement. PteroDynamics is the second company selected to provide prototypes for the BWUAS program; in October 2020, Skyways, a Texas-based firm, delivered a prototype of its Skyways V2.2 rotary-wing drone for evaluation.