New At Dubai: Sleek UAV; Twin-Rotor Helicopter

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The 12th biennial Dubai Airshow is open this week, and it's the biggest ever for the venue, with about 1,000 exhibitors, 12 percent more than in 2009. Among the new designs that are getting attention are the United 40, a prototype UAV from Adcom with a sleek S-shaped fuselage and a tandem wing. "We like challenging aerodynamic concepts," said Adcom CEO Ali Al Dhaheri, in the Arabian Aerospace Online News. The hybrid-powered UAV has no elevators, but pitch is controlled by varying the incidence of the forward wing. It's designed to carry weapons. Also, Quest Helicopters, a new company based in Dubai, unveiled its design for a twin-rotor, fly-by-wire helicopter.

Quest plans to start production of its four-seat $2.95 million helicopter in the Ukraine next year. The helicopters will use an in-line counter-rotating dual rotor system, touch-screen avionics, and new FADEC turbine engines from Motor Sich Ukraine. The company's website also says the aircraft will feature an "ejectable safety capsule cabin" but provides no other details. The helicopter could be used for a variety of roles, including VIP transport, emergency medical services, and police operations, the company said.