All-electric helicopter will fill gap in customer mission capabilities for unmanned aircraft specialist

AeroVironment has acquired the VAPOR all-electric helicopter UAS which can be used for defence and commercial applications to fill gaps in customer mission capabilities.

AeroVironment Inc has unveiled VAPOR 35 and VAPOR 55 which have vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and multi-payload capabilities. The VAPOR series complement and expand on AeroVironment’s fixed-wing small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). The VAPOR 35 has a 35lb gross take off weight with up to 5lb payload, while the larger VAPOR 55 has a 55lb pound take off weight and up to 10lbs of payload.

Flexibility of carrying multiple payloads at one time

Trace Stevenson, Vice President and Deputy General Manager at AeroVironment said: “It really gives users the flexibility of carrying multiple payloads at one time, its got a drop capability where you can drop supplies, cell phones, ammunition and blood. We’re very excited to add this to our portfolio as it’s complementary to our existing fixed wing systems and gives a whole new mission set that we can offer our existing customers.”

Stevenson added that the new products had been added as a result of listening to and addressing their customer’s needs. He explained: “We pride ourselves on really being intimate with our customers and listening to what missions and mission capability gaps that they have, so when its something that can’t be addressed by an existing product like we have with the fixed wing, then we go and figure out whether we can develop that organically or do something inorganic.”

“In this case, we found Pulse Aerospace in the midwest of the United States who had  been developing this capability for the past 10 years and so it made sense to do an inorganic acquisition in this case and bring this into our family of systems.”

The VAPOR helicopter will have one hour of flight time on a single battery charge.

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