Powered by an efficient heavy-fuel engine, the VA001 completed first flight in Feburary 2015, flying autonomously in the national airspace. Additional flight tests have provided validation of the VA001 design and performance projections. In operation, the VA001's unmatched range and 10-day endurance will greatly reduce the operating cost and manpower burden to provide persistent aerial coverage, and will enable new missions previously beyond the capabilities of mid-size UAS.
The VA001 is ready for operational demonstrations. Further payload integration is currently underway with Vanilla's customers, and flights are scheduled in 2017 to continue expanding the aircraft's full payload, endurance and altitude capabilities.
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VA001 Flight Operations
The VA001 aircraft
The Vanilla Aircraft team with the aircraft following the successful first flight
Left to right: Daniel Hatfield, Peter Bale, Daryl Perkins, Jeremy Novara, Neil Boertlein and Phil Barnes