Auterion, GE Aviation and Hybrid Project Work on Long-Range VTOL UAV

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GE Aviation has announced a teaming agreement with Hybrid Project to provide a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed for high-endurance commercial applications at scale.

Flight testing will commence in the fourth quarter of this year, with commercial availability targeted for the first quarter of 2020.

The agreement involves Hybrid Project’s 35-lb., hybrid-powered SuperVolo VTOL UAV. GE Aviation’s computing platform enables flight control and airborne computing power at the edge while maintaining an independent and authoritative safety controller. In addition, Auterion’s Enterprise PX4 operating system resides on the vehicle, in the cloud and in 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 hardware and software platform for commercial drones.

“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,” says Matt Vacanti, product leader for avionics systems at GE Aviation. “A highly integrated system is critical to achieving scalable commercial UAV operations.”

Hybrid Project’s SuperVolo has been designed from the ground up with an emphasis on endurance, ease of maintenance and modularity.

“This collaboration, and the combined solution, will increase commercial operator flexibility, efficiency and overall performance to a level not previously available in its class,” says 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 BVLOS capabilities and missions that were previously not possible before commercial drones of this class were available,” adds Kevin Sartori, co-founder of Auterion.

The full solution is designed specifically for commercial operators and service providers.

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