This autonomous wing transforms any cargo into an aircraft

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ala autónoma ARES

Inspenet, December 28, 2023.

Rather than designing a new aircraft specifically for cargo transportation, the United States Air Force Advanced Projects Division (AFWERX) seeks to develop a machine capable of converting any cargo into an aircraft without the need for jet engines.

This project, called Ares (Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System), consists of an autonomous wing that allows a load to take off vertically like a helicopter and then fly like an airplane from any location on the planet.

An autonomous wing for vertical takeoff and landing

Ares has been developed by the American aviation company Piasecki in collaboration with Skunk Works, Lockheed Martin’s cutting-edge projects group, under the supervision of DARPA, the Pentagon’s advanced development division responsible for the creation of the internet and numerous technologies.

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Now, with the support of AFWERX, Piasecki is collaborating with defense company Honeywell to incorporate a new flight control system and conduct flight tests soon. According to CEO John Piasecki, they will be able to ” demonstrate Ares’ unique air duct configuration, which allows for a seamless transition between hovering and forward flight with fixed wings ,” one of the distinguishing features of this unique aircraft.

More details about Ares

Ares represents an unmanned vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aerial system with tilting wings, with a design that seeks to be modular and suitable for various missions. Its ability to carry any object compatible with the wing’s anchoring system, from containers to command modules, makes it highly versatile.

This design enables operations in confined spaces, whether on the deck of a ship or on any terrain during a military campaign. This allows a variety of modules to be deployed, such as command, control, communications, computers, intelligence (C4I), intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), small combat forces, and, of course, logistics.

According to the company, the ability to transport diverse modules and diverse payloads has the potential to reduce both deployment costs and the logistics footprint of military operations in general.

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