Wide-body cargo drone preparing for lift-off

by Inside Logistics Online Staff
Yates Electrospace Corporation’s new Silent Arrow wide-body shown next to the company’s standard GD-2000 autonomous cargo delivery aircraft.

LOS ANGELES – Yates Electrospace Corporation (YEC) will be unveiling a wide-body cargo drone in July that will be capable of carrying payloads as large as 567 kilograms and 140 cubic feet.

The wide-body version of the company’s GD-2000 cargo delivery drone has been developed based on demand from U.S. and allied foreign government special forces groups including the U.S. Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR). It is 60 percent larger than the standard Silent Arrow GD-2000, with a 140 cu/ft cargo bay that accommodates five times more cargo.

“The YEC engineering team used current flight data from the inaugural GD-2000 product line along with extensive computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to optimize the aerodynamics and glide ratio of this rather massive cargo delivery platform,” said Chip Yates, YEC’s founder and CEO.

YEC has two launch customers, and plans to deliver development units by the end of March 2020 and 10 flight test units through the second and third quarters of 2020.

Specification highlights of the new Silent Arrow GD-2000 WB include:

  • Gross Weight: 2,000lbs (907 kg)
  • Cargo Weight: 1,250lbs (567 kg)
  • Cargo Volume: 140cu/ft (4 cu/m)
  • Glide Ratio: 7.63:1
  • Standoff: 36 miles (58km)
  • Logistics: 48ft wingspan (4 spring-deployed wings) stowed in 3.5  by 3.5  by 13 fuselage

Designed for immediate air response and emergency relief, Silent Arrow’s tightly integrated packaging with its unique spring-deployed wing system transported inside the fuselage, high standoff distance and low cost has been well received by both the tactical resupply and the humanitarian/disaster relief markets. Silent Arrow is designed for fixed-wing and rotorcraft deployment of critically needed supplies, cargo and fuel under austere operating conditions and timelines.