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Vanilla Aircraft VA001

Ultra-Long-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft

Vanilla Aircraft VA001

Ultra-Long-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



The 475lb Vanilla VA001 ultra-long-endurance UAV has managed a flight lasting 121.4 hours during October 2017.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 2015
STATUS: In-Development
MANUFACTURER(S): Vanilla Aircraft / DARPA - USA
PRODUCTION: 1
OPERATORS: United States
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Vanilla Aircraft VA001 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 0
ENGINE: 1 x Diesel engine unit driving a propeller in pusher configuration.




ARMAMENT



None. Approximately 30lb payload capability and support for various sensors.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• VA001 - Base Series Designation


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the Vanilla Aircraft VA001 Ultra-Long-Endurance Unmanned Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 10/27/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The next logical step in the world of unmanned aircraft is endurance but this typically requires larger, more expensive aircraft to accomplish the task. For years, designs have been entered into the field to broaden unmanned aircraft range capabilities and there have been both successes and failures. One potential groundbreaking candidate is the Vanilla Aircraft VA001 Unmanned Air System (UAS) which recorded its first-flight back in February of 2015 and continues in development today (2017). The aircraft was born from a five-person team in Falls Church, Virginia with the purpose of building economically-minded, compact design to haul payloads over very-long-distances.

The VA001 is categorized as a mid-sized UAS and features an efficient diesel-fueled engine driving a propeller unit in a "pusher" configuration. The aircraft sports straight, high-mounted mainplanes to achieve desired lift-versus-drag balance and its fuselage shape is akin to a tear drop for aerodynamic efficiency. The outer panels of the mainplanes are upturned. Overall wingspan measures 36 feet. The tail unit is made up of a single vertical fin with the horizontal plane set high.

The 475lb VA001's can carry a payload of up to 30lb. It lands without an undercarriage, coming down on its belly before rolling to a complete stop. The propeller unit at the rear of the body collapses so as not to incur damage during the action.




As development of the VA001 is ongoing, engineers will continue to push the boundaries of this intriguing aircraft. As it stands, the aircraft can fly for up to ten days under quiet operation at altitudes of 15,000 feet and speeds up to 75 knots. It can loiter (under autopilot) in orbit while traveling at around 55 knots.

In January of 2017, the Vanilla Aircraft crew claimed a World Record with a recorded unrefueled 56-hour flight, the longest for an unmanned combustion-powered aircraft. Range restrictions and icing potential ended what was a planned 120-hour test flight.

In an October 2017 test flight involving NASA/DARPA, the VA001 completed a journey lasting 121 hours, 24 minutes - this covering some 7,000 miles. This showcases the aircraft's impressive inherent range capabilities and the system was still left with another three days of fuel in its onboard stores. The action marked broke the previous endurance record for longest unmanned internal combustion-powered flight.

The VA001 certainly has commercial and military implications and is especially of interest to both for its low cost function and impressive performance. In the latter, the product is seen as a potential support system at the platoon level where it can be used for long-endurance reconnaissance as well as modest-sized cargo delivery.




MEDIA









Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

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Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Supported Roles
A2A
Interception
UAV
Ground Attack
CAS
Training
ASW
Anti-Ship
AEW
MEDEVAC
EW
Maritime/Navy
SAR
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
VIP
Passenger
Business
Recon
SPECOPS
X-Plane/Development
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.