Tel Aviv: Making another effort to complete the development of a ducted fan autonomous aircraft for military missions, Israeli company Urban Aeronautics is looking for a partner to complete the development of its AirMule ducted fan autonomous aircraft. Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is evaluating a joint venture with Urban Aeronautics.
The Israeli defence forces (IDF) have been looking for an autonomous aircraft for missions in the battle field. Some designs have been proposed by Israeli companies but have not met the operational demand. The AirMule has the basic capabilities but needs further work.
AirMule is a fully autonomous, VTOL UAV that is designed for military applications. Its primary military missions will be cargo delivery, casualty evacuation (CasEvac), maritime missions. AirMule is designed to carry out battle field missions where other types of manned aircraft are less compatible. AirMule will be capable of carrying payloads of up to 500 Kilograms (1,100 lbs) over distances of 50 kilometres.
The AirMule prototype is powered by the Ariel -2 engine. The prototype uses a ducted fan design but according to Eran Ron, CEO of Urban Aeronautics, a top motor design will be tested in the future. This design, according to Ron keeps the small footprint of the AirMule, a very important feature of the platform’s design.