AAI Flies Aerosonde(R) Mark 4.7 Aircraft with Heavy Fuel Engine

October 07, 2010

HUNT VALLEY, Md., Oct 07, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- AAI Corporation, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, announced today that it has successfully demonstrated its Aerosonde Mark 4.7 small unmanned aircraft system (SUAS) with a heavy fuel engine (HFE) at Fort Pickett in Virginia.

A heavy fuel propulsion system is a critical capability for both U.S. and international armed services. Maritime forces like the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard benefit because kerosene-based fuels are less flammable than gasoline in shipboard environments. Services with both land- and air-based missions, such as the U.S. Army, can embrace a "one fuel forward" concept by transitioning to a single fuel for all of their assets, minimizing cost and logistics.

The larger HFE delivers a significant increase in electrical power, generating higher horsepower and enabling the Aerosonde Mark 4.7 aircraft to carry additional payloads with greater electrical demands. Increased horsepower also contributes to improvements in aircraft performance including climb rate, dash speed, mission endurance and altitude performance.

"Our integration of a heavy fuel propulsion system onto the Aerosonde Mark 4.7 SUAS promises users increased performance, mission flexibility and convenience," says Division Vice President, Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Stephen Flach of AAI. "This successful HFE demonstration is an important milestone, and just one example of how we look to continuously mature our systems' capabilities to anticipate customer needs."

The Aerosonde Mark 4.7 SUAS is a cost-effective, high-endurance platform designed for fast, easy launch and recovery from shipboard or small clearings. It incorporates AAI's unique Launch and Recovery Trailer, comprised of an AAI-proprietary Sliding Frame Launcher and hydraulically actuated Soft Hands(TM) Net Recovery System. The Launch and Recovery Trailer provides automatic aircraft launch and recovery, minimizes risk of aircraft damage during recovery, and streamlines shipboard operations.

About AAI

AAI Corporation and its indirect wholly owned subsidiaries Aerosonde Pty Ltd and ESL Defence Limited design, produce and support industry-leading aerospace and defense products and services, including unmanned aircraft and ground control technologies; high-fidelity training and simulation systems; automated aerospace test and maintenance equipment; armament systems; and logistical, engineering, supply chain and operational support services. AAI Corporation is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at http://www.aaicorp.com.

About Textron Systems

Textron Systems Corporation has been providing innovative solutions to the defense, homeland security and aerospace communities for more than 50 years. Known for its unmanned aircraft systems, advanced marine craft, armored vehicles, intelligent battlefield and surveillance systems, intelligence software solutions, precision smart weapons, piston engines, test and training systems, and total life cycle sustainment services, Textron Systems includes AAI Corporation, Lycoming Engines, Overwatch, Textron Defense Systems and Textron Marine & Land Systems. Textron Systems Corporation is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Textron Inc. More information is available at http://www.textronsystems.com.

About Textron Inc.

Textron Inc. is a multi-industry company that leverages its global network of aircraft, defense, industrial and finance businesses to provide customers with innovative solutions and services. Textron is known around the world for its powerful brands such as Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft Company, Jacobsen, Kautex, Lycoming, E-Z-GO, Greenlee, and Textron Systems. More information is available at http://www.textron.com.

AAI and design is a registered trademark of AAI Corporation.

Aerosonde is a registered trademark of Aerosonde Pty Ltd.

Soft Hands is a trademark of AAI Corporation.

SOURCE: Textron

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