Yates Electrospace (YEC) has launched a civilian subsidiary to provide air response for humanitarian relief efforts and pandemics including coronavirus.
The subsidiary, AVIUS Air Delivery, is based on the technology of the 1 ton military resupply glider, Silent Arrow.
Its packaging includes a spring-deployed wing system transported inside the fuselage, 40 mile (65km) stand-off distance, and low unit cost.
The AVIUS Air Delivery, known as Mercy-2000, is a single-use, low-cost autonomous cargo delivery glider, deployed from fixed-wing aircraft or helicopter sling-load.
Loading examples include 3,500 flu/virus vaccines, 336 ready-to-eat meals, 125 gallons of fresh water, or medical supplies and other emergency rations.
Cargo deliveries are underway at YEC’s flight test and qualification center at the Pendleton, Oregon, UAS Test Range.
Mercy-2000’s spring open wing allows it to be carried inside narrow cargo aircraft and rotorcraft, where deployment from 25,000ft results in the wings springing open to their 28ft wingspan, giving up to a 40-mile stand-off distance.
The United States Air Force Special Operations Command granted YEC airworthiness approval to conduct operational assessments from certain C-130 aircraft in Department of Defense test ranges throughout 2020.
Chip Yates, founder and CEO of YEC, said, “The entire YEC team is dedicated to preparing AVIUS Air Delivery for operational readiness in 2020 to provide heavy payload deliveries of vaccines and other critical medical supplies in accordance with the world’s new social distancing realities.”