Swift Engineering’s high altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial system, getting ready for its maiden launch at New Mexico’s Spaceport America. (Photo: Business Wire)
American made Swift high-altitude-long-endurance UAS completes landmark first flight
In partnership with NASA’s Ames Research Center, Swift Engineering’s high altitude long endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial system, completed its maiden flight. The only US-made platform in its class, Swift’s flight team, performed a full-system check, validating the vehicle’s configuration for high-altitude continuous surveillance missions.
Through the collaboration with NASA, the successful flight trials took place at New Mexico’s Spaceport America. Designed to operate unmanned at 70,000 feet, The Swift HALE UAS offers 24-hour persistent and stable upper atmosphere operations for commercial and military surveillance, monitoring, communications, and security applications. An affordable alternative to satellites, the 72-foot solar-powered air vehicle weighs less than 180 pounds and can safely carry up to 15-pound payloads for missions.
“The partnership with NASA’s earth science team is significant. Using the agency’s mission cases, we developed a cost-efficient power and propulsion system that can withstand harsh temperatures, radiation, and stratospheric conditions, while providing and storing enough energy to enable persistent long-duration flights. The calculations from the flight test validates all of our safety and design requirements,” says Andrew Streett, Vice President of Technology at Swift Engineering.
The Swift HALE UAS was awarded two technology patents and received airworthiness certifications from NASA and the FAA‘s Certificate of Authorization (COA), enabling the unmanned aircraft to fly in commercial airspace.
“The applications of this technology will usher in a new era of data acceleration. Swift is able to deliver what no other industry or defense contractor can provide in the US market. I am extremely proud of our team and our great partners at NASA for this remarkable feat of innovation. We are excited about our global commercialization plans,” says Rick Heise, President and CEO of Swift Engineering.
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