24 October 2002
24 October 2002
Lew Aerospace flew its new Inventus unmanned aerial vehicle on a flawless inaugural flight on October 21 from a dry lake bed near Las Vegas, NV.
The Inventus S-1 is specifically targeted to the burgeoning civil and commercial UAV marketplaces, including new homeland defense and law enforcement applications. Its low acquisition cost and reliability also make it practical for military missions. By comparison, many military UAVs cost millions of dollars apiece.
The Inventus System One (S-1) is a state-of-the-art reconnaissance system packaged in a highly efficient, highly stable ""flying wing"" platform utilizing proprietary composite construction.
""We are very pleased with the flight performance of the Inventus S-1 on this first flight,"" said Paul Lew, principal of Lew Aerospace. ""The aerial vehicle did everything we planned for it to accomplish on its maiden flight.""
With a single unit acquisition cost of only $269,000, the Inventus S-1 establishes a new market standard for commercial and government UAV applications. Lew Aerospace's production plans call for a production of up to 40 Inventus S-1 UAVs annually beginning in 2003, said Lew. The Lew Aerospace UAV is designed to operate with maximum loiter time of 30 hours, a maximum range of 2,000 miles, a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet and a 140 mph top speed.
On its inaugural flight, the full-scale Inventus S-1 prototype flew to an altitude of approximately 500 feet at maximum speed of 80 mph. Duration of the first flight was a planned 17 minutes, 45 seconds. The flying wing design features a 10 foot 6 inch wingspan and weighs only 28 lbs with a payload capacity of 50 lbs. The Inventus S-1 is powered by a 5 hp aircraft engine.
The composite construction for the flying wing design is claimed to eliminate airframe maintenance and corrosion while offering incredible durability in all types of weather conditions and aerobatic capabilities.
Toho Tenax is introducing a high-tensile, highly shock-resistant prepreg that incorporates carbon fibre developed for aerospace applications and carbon nanotubes (CNTs).
Thai Flight Training (TFT), a subsidiary of Thai Airways, recently ordered an Airbus A320 door trainer from Spatial Composite Solutions.
NTPT is collaborating with the Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne - Swiss Centre of Technology (EPFL) and other partners to research discontinuous fibre composite tubes for high performance applications.