ScanEagle with VTOL Brings Battle-Tested, Long-Endurance UAS Capabilities to Even Smaller Spaces

The ScanEagle Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) kit, by Insitu, a Boeing Company, launches and lands vertically from small spaces without sacrificing payload capacity or endurance. It can be airborne more than 18 hours. It uses an electric multicopter called FLARES (Flying Launch and Recovery System) for lifting the ScanEagle to launch altitude and airspeed before releasing it to perform the mission, unencumbered by additional weight and drag like a traditional hybrid VTOL kit, which preserves the aircraft’s payload capacity and class-leading flight endurance. When the mission is complete, FLARES lifts a rope and bungee cable to recovery altitude and captures the ScanEagle much like a SkyHook.

The entire ScanEagle VTOL kit packs in the back of a pickup truck or into small shipboard spaces and can be ready to fly in 30 minutes or less with a crew of only three operators. It does not require major aircraft modifications and is available to current ScanEagle customers.

“ScanEagle has deployed aboard more than 30 different classes of warship so far,” said Dave Funkhouser, Insitu’s Director of International Business Development. “Our customers asked for VTOL launch and recovery without sacrificing endurance and with the smallest footprint possible, so they can take ScanEagle aboard smaller vessels without disrupting crewed helicopter operations. ScanEagle with VTOL does all that and is available today,” he added. 

With more than 1.3 million operational hours, ScanEagle has been continuously deployed around the globe since 2004 in climates ranging from the tropics to the Arctic.

“Imagery from the ScanEagle played an important role in rescue operations during the devastating Maui Fire and during the Haiti earthquake,” said Funkhouser. “This is just one of the many success stories in ScanEagle’s two-decade operational history. We can’t wait to see what this new VTOL capability enables for our maritime customers in the Middle East and around the globe,” he added.

Insitu is proud to showcase ScanEagle at DIMDEX in Doha, Qatar at Boeing Booth #H6-119.

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