VIDEO: Advanced Tactics' VTOL Transformer in Flight

by Graham Warwick
May 06, 2014

Advanced Tactics releases video of the first flights of its Black Knight Transformer VTOL multicopter prototype

Advanced Tactics has released video of the first brief hover flights in April of its Black Knight Transformer - a prototype fly/drive vehicle that scales up the popular multicopter VTOL UAV configuration to a full-size aircraft designed for cargo resupply and casualty evacuation.

Video: Advanced Tactics

The Black Knight is a 4,000lb vehicle that can be flown manned or unmanned and also driven on and off road. The aircraft has eight piston aero-engines each driving two-blade fixed-pitch props for vertical flight and a Volkswagen engine driving the rear wheels for road use.

Advanced Tactics says the technology demonstrator has been built for less than $2 million within the timeline originally envisioned for DARPA's Transformer flying-jeep program, which has been restructured into a flight demonstration of a ducted-fan cargo UAV.

The company says it is now developing an autonomous modular version of the AT Transformer capable of delivering up to 3,500lb of payload in a detachable cargo pod at up to 200kt, or of hovering for more than 10 hours carrying a 150lb ISR payload.

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