Platform Aerospace, a veteran-owned small business, plans to push the development of its Vanilla family of unmanned aerial vehicles in order to potentially earn deployment contracts with the Department of Defense, according to C4ISRNET.
In a Defense News interview, Greg Pappianou, Platform Aero’s chief growth officer, said the company is looking to upgrade three variants of the Group 3 UAVs to fulfil diverse military tasks.
Platform Aero intends to extend the flying hours and envelope of a Vanilla long-endurance variation, demonstrate five-day flights carrying a full payload with a Vanilla multi-payload type, and show off a vertical takeoff Vanilla capable of carrying a 50-pound payload in a day.
“But don’t forget that the reason we’re doing this is to further harden that five-day aeroplane that’s going to be loaded to the gills,” Pappianou pointed out.
Vanilla, which just achieved the world record for the longest unrefueled flight, has already participated in tests with the US Southern Command, NASA, the Naval Air Systems Command, and the Office of Naval Research to address long-duration airborne payload operations.