09 July 2004
09 July 2004
Tactical Aerospace Group (TAG) has made its first public showing of the revolutionary new composite TAG-M65 and TAG-M80 UAV helicopters in Paris.
The new helicopters are unique in their construction and design with a completely composite airframe which is a first for VTOL UAVs. The composite structure accounts for the extremely light weight and strength of the aircraft and allows for a very significant advancement in performance, payload and endurance for UAV helicopters.
With available load capacities of up to 20kg (44 lbs) and endurance of up to 8 hours these aircraft can perform remote or autonomous missions of nearly 800 km (500 miles) carrying surveillance, communications, sensory, jamming or dozens of other payload categories. ""The helicopters can now perform many missions that previously put human pilots in serious danger,"" said Peter Adler, TAG Military Liaison. The new composite design keeps maintenance to a minimum and field reliability very high. The modular construction also allows the tail boom to be separated from the main fuselage in minutes providing for a truly man-portable helicopter. ""As expected the helicopter generated tremendous official interest from many government and military organizations and we will be busy with a rigorous schedule of tests and field trials over the next few months. The TAG-M65 and TAG-M80 are in full production and versions are available for military, civil and commercial users such as law enforcement, inspection services, utility patrol, agricultural interests as well as film and media applications.
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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.