Vantage is a HMMWV-transportable, vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle. With fully autonomous flight operation and differential GPS navigation, Vantage will perform Reconnaissance Surveillance Target Acquisition (RSTA) and Communications Relay missions. The vehicle is powered by the UEL 801 42-HP heavy-fuel (JP5, JP8, Jet A) rotary engine. To save weight and mechanical complexity, the ducted tail rotor is electrically driven with power from an onboard starter/generator. Overall body length is 112 inches with a rotor diameter of 108 inches. With a gross weight of 350 lb and a payload capacity of 25-35 lb, Vantage will have an estimated endurance of 3-5 hours, a dash speed of 100 kts, and a service ceiling of 18,000 feet. Successful low speed flight demonstrations of Vantage were conducted in Nov 2005 where the vehicle autonomously maneuvered over a pre-programmed flight course.

Sponsors: ONR, USMC, NRL
Program type: 6.2 Exploratory Development
Years: 2002-2005