Textron Subsidiary To Develop Carter Rotor Technology

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The Carter Copter folks have been developing their unique rotary aircraft technology for years, powering through setbacks and making slow progress, and this week they announced their first customer agreement. Carter's deal gives 40-year exclusive use of their technology for unmanned aircraft systems to AAI Corp., a subsidiary of Textron Inc. Textron is no stranger to aviation -- the corporation also owns Bell Helicopter, Cessna, and Lycoming Engines. In a news release, AAI said it will provide guidance, support and resources to Carter for continued development of its Slowed Rotor/Compound (SR/C) technology. Their goal is to build an unmanned, turbine-powered aircraft that could deliver 3,000 pounds of cargo across 1,300 nm at 250 knots, or that could be deployed for surveillance missions with up to 24 hours' endurance.

Carter's SR/C technology is a fixed- and rotary-wing hybrid that delivers high speed, long endurance and off-airport vertical/short takeoff and landing capability at low cost, said AAI. "These features are well suited for unmanned aircraft that serve multiple mission roles," said AAI. Carter President Jay Carter Jr. said the deal is a turning point for his company. "As an R&D company we have been focused on developing and defining our technology and the systems that would enhance its capability. We now have a viable SR/C platform that has the ability to compete in both manned and unmanned sectors with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) and high-speed flight, and a trusted partner in AAI. This partnership enables us to combine the unique capabilities of SR/C technology with AAI's unmanned expertise."