Enabling long-range VTOL with GE

October 28, 2019

Hybrid Project SuperVolo

Auterion and GE Aviation Avionics System Yields First Integration for Long-Range Commercial VTOL UAV

Earlier this year, we teamed up with GE Aviation to integrate the Auterion Enterprise PX4 operating system into GE Aviation’s Unmanned Aircraft System avionics platform.

The collaboration enabled us to offer large commercial UAVs a full-stack solution with airborne autopilot and application computing hardware, flight management, safety management, and integration. GE Aviation provided the avionics hardware, application computing, and airframe integration. Auterion provided Enterprise PX4, the operating system on the airframe, in the cloud, and the ground station. Development and flight testing of the platform spanned over a multi-week period at multiple locations, including at Reno-Stead Airport in Reno, Nevada.

This combination supports long-term flexibility and a high level of design assurance to enable commercial drone operations beyond visual line of sight and within complex airspace and obstacle environments.

Today, we are excited to announce our first airframe integration agreement. Tennessee based UAV manufacturer Hybrid Project is integrating the GE Aviation and Auterion all-in-one hardware and software platform into the company’s upcoming high endurance hybrid-powered SuperVolo VTOL UAV.

This collaboration represents several firsts for Auterion. Hybrid Project is our first joint customer with GE and the first long-range VTOL in our product portfolio. It is also the first gas/ electric hybrid UAV powered by Auterion. This opens up a host of new possibilities and use cases for UAS inspections services, mapping, and cargo deliveries.

Designed for high endurance flight, ease of maintenance, and modular airframe for diverse payload configurations, SuperVolo is comprised of technologies and services to enable commercial operations in complex environments while meeting regulatory and mission outcomes. Thanks to its hybrid propulsion systems, the aircraft can travel nearly 500 kilometers (311 miles) on 3.8 liters (1 us gallon) of fuel, giving it a coverage area nearly 5 times that of comparable electrically powered planes. This, combined with VTOL capability,  greatly reduces the need for ground support systems or complicated launch and recovery equipment.

The commercial availability of SuperVolo is targeted for Q1 2020. To learn more, please read our press release.