08 Jan '18, 6pm

Aurora CEO optimistic about future of long-endurance drones

Aurora CEO optimistic about future of long-endurance drones

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Air Force has been resistant to buy ultrahigh-endurance drones, but a recent $48 million investment in the technology could signify that the service is changing its mind about its requirements, the head of Aurora Flight Sciences said. On Wednesday, Aurora Flight Sciences announced that the Air Force had awarded it a $48 million contract to create a certified version of its Orion medium altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial system. The Orion holds the world record for the longest flight performed by a drone. In December 2014, the UAS stayed aloft for more than 80 hours without needing to land or be refueled, but Aurora claims the aircraft’s endurance can stretch even longer: up to 100 hours with payloads weighing more than 1,000 pounds. Yet Aurora, now a subsidiary of Boeing, has struggled to get the Air Force to adopt the technology. Lt. Gen. Rober...

Full article: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/01/08/aurora-ceo-opt...

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