USE Network launch I UAV Works VALAQ l Cable harnesses l USVs insight l Xponential 2020 update l MARIN AUV l Suter Industries TOA 288 l Vitirover l AI systems l Vtrus ABI

24 C ombining VTOL capability with long range, endurance and high speed is a perennial challenge in aerospace engineering and, unencumbered by human occupants, UAVs give designers a degree of freedom to explore configurations that are unavailable with manned aircraft. Spanish company UAV Works’ founder David Ortiz wanted to build a VTOL aircraft with these attributes but free of the mechanical complexities and inefficiencies of helicopters, tilt rotors and machines with separate propulsion systems for VTOL and cruising flight. The concept he chose to explore for what has become the VALAQ family was a vehicle with a flying-wing planform and a trapezoidal quadcopter propeller configuration that would take off vertically from a tail-sitting position, transition to horizontal flight to conduct most of its mission and transition back for a vertical landing. This eliminates the need for rotor tilting mechanisms or vertically mounted motors and propellers, which are used only for the take-off and landing portions of the mission and contribute nothing but extra weight and drag for the rest of a flight. However, controlling a vehicle without these between vertical and horizontal flight isn’t easy. Assessing the competition Business development manager Yago Osset notes that many types of UAVs are operated in the types of missions for which Peter Donaldson reports on how this tail-sitter marries vertical take-off and landing with fixed-wing range and speed Sitting pretty June/July 2020 | Unmanned Systems Technology