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Carter Shows Off VTOL Capabilities

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Photo courtesy of Carter Aviation Technologies

Photo courtesy of Carter Aviation Technologies

Carter Aviation Technologies recently has started public demos of its technology demonstrator, which "takes off like a helicopter, transitions to an autogyro, and flies like a fixed-wing aircraft," CEO Jay Carter told AVweb on Tuesday. "We're pretty excited about this technology." The aircraft flew several times at Sun 'n Fun last week, and then the crew was asked to fly at the nearby MacDill Air Force base on Monday for military officials. "That was the ultimate invitation," Carter said. "Who knows what may come of that?" Carter says he plans to take the aircraft around the country this summer "to demonstrate its capabilities," and will fly it at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh in late July.

Carter said he is also working on a competitive DARPA contract to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle that could take off from a ship at sea, carry 600 pounds, fly 1,000 miles, hover on site for 18 hours, then return and land on the ship. "We think we can do all that, and stay up to 24 hours on site," Carter said. He also said he'd like to find an experimental kit manufacturer who would license his technology to create a personal-size aircraft. "The secret to our sauce," he said, "is that we've found a way to eliminate the drag from the rotor blade. We can slow it down to 100 rpm, which reduces the drag by 27 times." The demonstrator aircraft has flown up to 18,000 feet, and achieved speeds up to 202 mph. He said he is still expanding the envelope and expects it will fly up to 8 hours, cruise at more than 220 mph and reach altitudes up to 28,000 feet.

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