Swift Engineering showcases X-Blade Technology
On 28April, the SWIFT020, featuring X-Blade Technology, had a successful completely autonomous marine flight test excursion off the coast in Orange County, CA/USA.
The test, one in a series conducted by Swift Engineering, consisted of eight consecutive fully autonomous launch and recoveries off a boat with an aft deck of 20×30 feet. The fully autonomous flight tests were executed with the push of one button.
The SWIFT020 is the culmination of over 13 years of research and development in Unmanned Air System (UAS), creativity and innovation in the UAV marketspace, and Swift heritage and understanding in unmanned systems, according to the company. The SWIFT020 Unmanned Air System is a family of systems servicing Linear infrastructure, Oil and Gas, Maritime, Emergency Services, Delivery, Agriculture, Scientific Research, Surveillance and Military/Defence markets.
X-Blade Technology is the technology and expertise of maximising the benefits of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) with the efficiencies of fixed wing flight; it is a VTOL transition to horizontal flight technology that does not use rotating mechanisms; all the control is conducted with in the flight control autopilot system. The X-Blade Technology used in the SWIFT020 UAS can be scaled to larger and different configuration platforms.
Sidenote: In 2001 Swift Engineering started the development of the Swift KillerBee; a runway independent, 4ft wingspan, catapult launch and net recovery UAS. By 2009 this vehicle had a 10ft wingspan, 15-hour endurance, and can carry a 60lbs payload. Swift Engineering sold this asset to Northrop Grumman and it was renamed the Northrop BAT.