Carter PAV Now In Flight-Test Mode
Carter Aviation has completed the first phase of flight testing for its Personal Air Vehicle, a four-seat aircraft that combines fixed-wing and rotary components, the company announced this week. The test crew flew the first traffic pattern in the PAV in December, and on Jan. 5, they completed a 36-minute flight. The initial phase of the flight-test regimen is focused on refining the flight-control systems for the PAV's gyro performance capabilities, including vertical takeoff and landing, the company said. In the next phase of testing, Carter will add a 45-foot wing section to the aircraft. Carter, which is based in Wichita Falls, Texas, debuted the aircraft at EAA AirVenture in 2009.
The PAV features automated computer controls that greatly reduce pilot workload, the company said. The company also said it expects to relocate to a new facility near the Wichita Valley airport soon and complete four new aircraft by the end of the year. Carter President Jay Carter Jr. said, "This is an exciting time for us. Our first aircraft proved the viability of our technology. This aircraft translates that technology into a viable consumer product." Carter Aviation also has been working with AAI, an operating unit of Textron Systems, along with several other companies including Bell Helicopter and Terrafugia, in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Transformer program. The team is working to develop Slowed Rotor/Compound technology, which aims to expand VTOL capability for small aircraft. AAI and Carter also entered into an exclusive licensing agreement in 2009, under which AAI intends to incorporate SR/C technology into unmanned aircraft designs.