Carter Aviation Technologies LLC of Wichita Falls, Texas, has completed negotiations with AAI Corp., an operating unit of Textron Systems, on an exclusive licensing agreement for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) using Carter’s Slowed Rotor/Compound (SR/C) Aircraft Technology — a combination of rotorcraft and fixed-wing aerodynamics. The 40-year exclusive agreement covers all UAS programs worldwide.
“This is a turning point for Carter,” said Jay Carter Jr., president. “As an R&D company we have been focused on developing and defining our technology and the systems that would enhance its capability. We now have a viable SR/C platform that has the ability to compete in both manned and unmanned sectors with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and high-speed flight.”
Carter’s hybrid technology combines the runway independence of rotorcraft with the cruise efficiency of fixed-wing designs, company officials explained. SR/C technology enables these capabilities by transitioning lift between the rotor and the wing based on the specific phase of flight. Carter’s SR/C design is a pure autogyro and currently incorporates 20 patents. In the latest, four-place civil aircraft the empty weight is expected to be 2,200 lbs. with a gross weight of 3,500 lbs. Equipped with a 350 hp twin turbo-charged engine, the aircraft has a projected speed of 223 mph and, with 500 lbs. of fuel, a range of 768 miles at the max power setting. Flying at best range speed, the aircraft will deliver a range extending to 1,465 miles, company officials said. Maximum speed of 250 mph is projected at 25,000 feet with a range of 879 miles at max power and 1,510 miles at best range speed.
Leveraging SR/C technology and the civil four-place primary aircraft components, Carter and AAI have been evaluating a UAS design variant employing a turbine engine. At 7,250 lbs. gross weight, with 4,750 lbs. of useful load, the SR/C UAS is expected to deliver 3,000 lbs of cargo to a range of over 1,300 nm at speeds of 288 mph.