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AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye

Tactical Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye

Tactical Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

OVERVIEW
SPECIFICATIONS
ARMAMENT
VARIANTS
HISTORY
MEDIA
OVERVIEW



Tthe AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye serves the United States Marine Corps by providing a critical eye-in-the-sky function over the battlefield.
National Flag Graphic
ORIGIN: United States
YEAR: 2002
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): AeroVironment, Incorporated / Naval Research Laboratory / Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory - USA
PRODUCTION: 1,000
OPERATORS: United States
SPECIFICATIONS



Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.
CREW: 0
LENGTH: 2.95 feet (0.9 meters)
WIDTH: 3.61 feet (1.1 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 7 pounds (3 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 7 pounds (3 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Single-use battery supplying power to 2 x Two-bladed electric motors.
SPEED (MAX): 22 miles-per-hour (35 kilometers-per-hour; 19 knots)
RANGE: 3 miles (5 kilometers; 3 nautical miles)
CEILING: 499 feet (152 meters; 0.09 miles)




ARMAMENT



None. Payload consisting of cameras for general reconnaissance work: Dual forward-and-side-looking electro-optical camera, side-looking low light camera, and side-Looking IR camera.
VARIANTS



Series Model Variants
• RQ-14 "Dragon Eye" - Base Series Designation


HISTORY



Detailing the development and operational history of the AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye Tactical Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  Entry last updated on 4/11/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The American military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq during the first decade of the present century allowed the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) industry to flourish and this led to the introduction of many unmanned, remotely-piloted systems. The AeroVironment RQ-14 "Dragon Eye" was one product of the period, a compact, tactical reconnaissance-minded drone first flying in June of 2001. It was introduced a year later and has seen considerable service with the United States Marine Corps (USMC) as development was through the Naval Research Laboratory and the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory. Some 1,000 units were contracted for.

Outwardly, the Dragon Eye exhibits a conventional aircraft form with a centralized fuselage containing all pertinent mission equipment, a monoplane wing assembly, and vertical tail fin. The aircraft lacks horizontal tailplanes and an integrated undercarriage while its wing mainplanes are broad and straight in their design. The UAV's propulsion comes from a pair of two-bladed electric drive motors arranged ahead of the wing leading edges to either side of the fuselage. Dimensions of this aircraft include a wingspan of 3.75 feet and a length of 3 feet, allowing it to be relatively easily transported on the back of an infantryman. Its overall weight is a manageable six pounds.




AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye (Cont'd)

Tactical Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye (Cont'd)

Tactical Reconnaissance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)



The Dragon Eye system is hand-launched, not requiring any complex undercarriage-with-runway arrangement or catapulting system. Forward momentum is enhanced by use of a bungee-style flexible cord which helps to add initial velocity. Once in the air and under its own power, the UAV utilizes a operator-programmed, waypoint-based navigation system through an integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) and Inertial Navigation System (INS). The mission endurance window is approximately one hour. The UAV is tied to a Ground Control System (GCS) consisting of a heavy-duty laptop providing real-time color / high reolution InfraRed (IR) video imaging to the ground operator from the Dragon Eye unit. Transmission ranges (line-of-sight) reach out to 6 miles and the UAV holds an operational range out to 3 miles and a service ceiling up to 500 feet at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. Recovery is simply by way of having the Dragon Eye unit land a relatively smooth surface - its frame is purposely designed to break apart and be put back together in short order. Should the unit suffer more catastrophic damage, its major components can easily by replaced from parts pulled from another Dragon Eye kit.

The Dragon Eye UAV continues to serve USMC units today (2015). Its transportability and ease-of-use with reliable function have made it an excellent addition to the Marine warfighter's growing high-tech arsenal. Additionally, its run-silent operation generally results in enemy forces unaware of its position overhead - a good alternative to the larger, higher-cost UAV systems currently available.




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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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 50mph
Lo: 25mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (22mph).

    Graph average of 37.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
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Graph showcases the AeroVironment RQ-14 Dragon Eye's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1000
1000

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

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


Altitude Visualization
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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