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Cargo resupply unmanned aircraft system tested


[click on photo for larger version]

A US Marine Corps cargo resupply unmanned aircraft system (CRUAS) with Marine Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron (VMU) 3, Marine Air Control Group 38, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward), takes off from Camp Bastion, Helmand province, Afghanistan, Dec. 1, 2012. VMU-3 tested the capabilities of the CRUAS. US Marine Corps photo by Sergeant Keonaona C. Paulo/Released.

READER COMMENTS: "Cargo resupply unmanned aircraft system tested"

Posted by Rosario at December 3, 2012 5:46 PM ET:


Interesting unmanned aircraft, I never saw one with windows before. Perhaps the USMC is training squirrels to fly?

Posted by blert at December 3, 2012 7:44 PM ET:


It's derived from an ordinary, human-piloted helicopter.^^^^

Kaman KMAX


Posted by Rosario at December 4, 2012 3:07 AM ET:

blert, thanks for the video, that copter has a lot of lift for being so small.

Posted by blert at December 4, 2012 3:20 PM ET:

Removing the pilot must increase the net payload by 100 kg.

Further, it would appear that Kaman has a design that can tolerate Afghanistan's altitudes, for Swiss forests aren't all that low on the mountainside.

Additionally, their design is very robust vis a vis gusts. Any machine that depends upon a tail rotor is going to be gust-sensitive.

It also would appear to have a modest part count, particularly moving parts. A tail-rotor assembly is complex and stressed.

One might imagine an electrically powered version. Such a machine would have very limited range -- but extremely practical for such construction activities as bomb and mine work -- and establishing bridges.

In both cases, flitting around only 300 meters away, with a COLD machine, unmanned, would permit safe operations otherwise beyond the reach of cranes.

Even blasting roads through the Hindu Kush could get more practical.