Broomfield, Colorado, December 9, 2008 – Frontline Aerospace, Inc., announced that its breakthrough unmanned aircraft known as V-STAR has successfully completed wind tunnel tests at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC.
“This is an important milestone in developing next-generation unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for tactical military and civilian missions,” said Frontline founder and chief executive officer Ryan Wood.
The patent-pending V-STAR is expected to join the rapidly growing market for unmanned aircraft systems estimated by the Teal Group to grow from its current $3.4 billion annually to $7.3 billion within a decade.
V-STAR will serve in a unique segment of this market providing tactical commanders with an aircraft that takes off vertically, then transitions to fixed-wing flight in order to reach targets three times faster than helicopters.
Chief designer Darold Cummings, a former Boeing Technical Fellow, noted, “I am pleased with both our water and wind tunnel data. This allows for the fine-tuning of any aircraft design, and we are increasingly confident V-STAR will perform as intended.”
V-STAR will operate swiftly and quietly from unprepared forward positions or from ships in direct support of front line soldiers. It provides exceptional payload flexibility – one minute supplying combat troops with ammunition, food, water, fuel and medical supplies – and the next minute supporting reconnaissance, weapons or casualty evacuation.
“V-STAR can also serve a range of naval missions such as task force and waterway protection, as well as civilian missions such as disaster relief,” added Wood. “It could be a uniquely effective defense against the increasing threat from pirates in international waters, since the vertical-takeoff-and-landing capability combined with 300-knot speed is ideal for maritime interdiction.”
Frontline Aerospace coordinated V-STAR testing with the Naval Research Laboratory, where according to senior scientist Rick Foch, “Our NRL team has designed and produced prototypes for over 40 UAVs, and we are very experienced with innovative and promising designs.”
V-STAR previously completed water tunnel testing at the Rolling Hills Research Corporation, well-known NASA and aviation contractor in El Segundo, CA. The water and wind tunnel tests will help prepare V-STAR for sub-scale flight tests expected to begin in 2009.
Frontline Aerospace, Inc., is an emerging aerospace company based in Colorado, focusing the talents of proven aerospace, defense and business experts on breakthrough aviation and energy concepts.
The firm’s leading innovations are the V-STAR unmanned aerial vehicle designed for a range of tactical military and civilian missions and the MicroFire energy-efficiency system designed to increase fuel economy for Rolls-Royce engines used in V-STAR and in thousands of helicopters and UAVs worldwide.