Boeing S-100 Camcopter delivered supplies to U.S. Army troops, a first for vertical lift UAV

This was the first time an autonomous air vehicle with vertical takeoff and landing resupplied Army troops. On April 6, Boeing Defense released a very short video on its Twitter account showing the S-100 Camcopter in action.

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S-100 Camcopter about to take off (Picture source: Boeing)

The footage shows the Camcopter flying at an altitude of some 100 feet and using a winch to let its load packed in a net go down to the ground. The demonstration was related to the US Army’s Future Vertical Lift modernization program, Boeing says on 6 April on Twitter. A Boeing team flew the S-100 on 31 missions, delivering 726kg (1,600lb) of “simulated blood and ammunition” via a cargo winch during the military exercise. For the missions demonstrated, the cargo weight was typically about 45kg, says Boeing. The flights took place 2 March to 12 March as part of the US Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment, which was conducted by the service’s Maneuver Battle Lab at Fort Benning, Georgia, says Boeing. The unmanned helicopter flew the missions autonomously, says the company. The S-100 is capable of carrying 34kg of payload for more than 6 hours. It can take a maximum payload of 50 kg.

The Boeing S-100 Camcopter variant, produced in partnership with Schiebel Industries, is a highly expeditionary Group 3 vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial system. It’s a difficult challenge when already operating in a difficult environment: no runway, no space for equipment, very little time or personnel to launch an unmanned asset, etc. Certain missions require extreme operational flexibility to deliver results – from intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to cargo and resupply efforts and more. The Boeing S-100 Camcopter – a rotorcraft UAS that can launch in 15 minutes even in the most rugged environments – can help solve some of the most difficult challenges.

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