In November, DARPA X-61A Gremlins Air Vehicle (GAV) flew for more than two hours, successfully validating all autonomous formation flying positions and safety features. Nine attempts were made at mechanical engagement of the GAVs to the docking bullet extended from a C-130 aircraft, but relative movement was more dynamic than expected and each GAV ultimately, safely parachuted to the ground.
DARPA wants to launch smaller swarm of two to four unmanned aircraft out the back of a C-130 or from wing mounts. Eventually, a single C-130 could launch and recover up to 16 gremlin vehicles. Gremlins could be launched from F-16s, B-52s, and other aircraft after some modifications.
Gremlins air vehicles are 14-feet long and weigh about 1,600 pounds when fully fueled.
There are also microdrones where swarms of hundreds of drones could be launched from one plane.
SOURCES – DARPA
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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