Silent Arrow announced theUnited States Air Force, through the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), has awarded the company a contract entitled “Guided Bundle Derivative of Silent Arrow® for Side Door and Palletized Swarm Deployment at High Speeds and Altitudes” effective November 12, 2021. The SA-PGB will be designed and built at Silent Arrow’s headquarters in Irvine, California and 15 aircraft will be shipped to the company’s flight test center in Pendleton, Oregon for operational evaluations at the Pendleton UAS Test Range. Initial specifications include 500-pound max weight, 350-pound cargo capacity, 39 inches long and deployable from high altitudes and airspeeds.
Under this Small Business Innovation Research (“SBIR”) Phase II contract, the commercially successful Silent Arrow® GD-2000 (Glider, Disposable, 2000 pounds) platform will be scaled down and redesigned as a new product line called the Silent Arrow® Precision Guided Bundle (SA-PGB), which will initially be developed as an autonomous cargo delivery glider. The SA-PGB is specifically designed for side door and multi-unit (swarm) ramp deployment, compatible with a much-expanded fleet of delivery aircraft ranging from the civilian Cessna Caravan to the military C-17.
Silent Arrow’s tightly integrated packaging with its patented spring-deployed wing system, industry-leading payload capacity, 40-mile standoff distance and low unit cost, has received enthusiastic reception from U.S. and foreign customers and is currently being delivered and operated to directly serve heavy-payload, autonomous cargo resupply needs throughout the world.
“We’d like to thank the U.S. Special Operations community, the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Army and various other organizations who signed on to support this award for a new life-saving cargo delivery drone,” said Chip Yates, Silent Arrow’s founder and CEO. “We look forward to an exciting flight test program in 2022 and quickly getting this new capability into the hands of the warfighter and disaster relief organizations alike.”\
Silent Arrow® is a DBA of Yates Electrospace Corporation, founded in 2012 by electric aviation pioneer Chip Yates, to produce the Silent Arrow® and AVIUS Air Delivery™ autonomous cargo drone product lines, which were highlighted as an “Unmanned Cargo Aircraft to Watch” by Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine. Silent Arrow’s engineering team has been awarded more than 20 patents, 6 Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) aircraft world records and 2 FAI Louis Bleriot medals for disruptive contributions to the aviation industry. In 2021 Silent Arrow® was selected as a finalist for the Robert J. Collier Trophy as the “Greatest Achievement in Aeronautics or Astronautics in America.