The Cormorant is a compact, unmanned, single engine VTOL aircraft. Internal lift rotors enable the Cormorant to conduct missions in mountainous, wooded, urban, and other confined areas where helicopters are unable to operate. The Cormorant is especially innovative due to its internal rotors and significant payload capacity, which allows for the evacuation of two casualties as well as fast and flexible payload reconfiguration for other missions. It is also ideally suited to special robotic operation, for example via telepresence.
A new tool for aerial transportation, the autonomous Cormorant offers reduced threat consideration, shorter planning time, and a larger array of pickup and landing zones than helicopters. This flexibility is a significant asset for resupply, maintenance, and medical missions.
The Cormorant is a game changer for ground forces, eliminating the need to divert their missions and leave cover to rendezvous with resupply aircraft. With its internal rotors, the Cormorant is absolutely safe to operate near personnel at all points of the mission route. Whether in the middle of a street, on a rooftop, near woods, or on a mountain slope, the Cormorant enables otherwise-impossible missions to be successfully carried out.
- The Cormorant has a useful load of 1,680 pounds.
- At a 110-mile radius of operation, it can carry up to 845 pounds of resupply
- A payload of 300 pounds can be safely delivered to a radius of 186 miles.
- Top cruise speed of 100 knots.
- Typical cruise speed with heavy load of 70 knots.
- Total available cargo volume is 5,000 liters (177 FT3), with an additional 500 liters (18 FT3) available in an optional belly mounted storage.
- Able to fly through adverse weather conditions such as low visibility due to rain, humidity (cloud/fog), icing conditions, and cross winds up to 40 knots.
- Increased survivability owing to low visual, acoustic, thermal and RADAR signatures.
- Embedded safety features in system redundancy, ballistic parachute, and health monitoring systems.
- The Cormorant is compatible with the Palletized Load System (PLS) flat track system. Preflight checks, refueling, mission loading, and launching of the aircraft can be performed by a three-man team in under 15 minutes.
- Single control station for a fleet of three Cormorants
- Preplanned mission modes to allow auto navigation, mission divergence, abort mission, auto land, or handoff to forward forces on final approach to landing.
- High flexibility in landing zones – small size with no external rotors, Including a landing site obstacle avoidance system integration.
- Open system architecture to allow mission equipment tailoring and future upgrades.
- Adaptable and modular sensor mission suite to support a wide range of mission set requirements and environments.
- Flexible transportation options – Palletized Load system (PLS), autonomous transport of 600 kilometers (370 miles), and C-17 air lift.
The Cormorant Technology Demonstrator is a one-ton aircraft powered by a Safran Arriel 2S2 (similar to UA-72B Lakota) turboshaft engine, delivering 778 shp (TOP, ISA S.L.). It has already performed over 300 flights, taking off, flying, and landing autonomously in accordance with pre-programmed plans. Flight testing has been conducted under the authorization of the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel (CAAI), limited to restricted and controlled airspace at the Megiddo Airfield in Israel. Mission demonstrations have also been conducted for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
Tactical Robotics and its personnel have demonstrated expertise and capabilities in the development and design of a variety of aircraft configurations including VTOL aircraft. We are continuing to demonstrate our TRL 5 capabilities, as well as preparing to implement full-scale development in order to be qualified and ready for operational use by 2026.
- Tandem counter rotating ducted fans controlled by guiding vanes allow for high controllability, high payload, and safety-enclosed in a small form factor (small truck sized).
- Innovative patent-protected design.
- Well researched and proven over 15 years with countless CFD runs, wind tunnel tests, and full-size tech demonstrator flights.
- Hundreds of simulator flight hours of experienced civil, military, helicopter, and fixed wing pilots analyzed on our simulation computers became the artificial intelligence behind the autonomous flight computer logic.
- Extensive knowledge in UAV development and autonomous operations was compiled into the mission control software.
- A robust system architecture design allows for in-flight malfunction analysis and mitigation for maximum mission execution efficiency.
The Cormorant offers much needed capabilities for emergency responders in routine, day-to-day operations as well as in the most challenging situations such as during natural disasters. The ability to quickly deliver water, food, and medical supplies directly to affected populations, no matter how isolated, will save numerous lives. During nuclear, biological, or chemical emergencies, the Cormorant offers transformative assessment and response capabilities. Day-to-day multiple mission capabilities – electric grid, bridge inspection, agricultural spraying, and offshore oil platform support, to name a few – makes the Cormorant a cost-effective addition to any commercial fleet.
In the civil market, the Cormorant also offers all the benefits of combined heavy payload and unlimited access. Whereas small civilian drones such as quadcopters can only provide "eye in the sky" photographic surveillance, or at best deliver light packages, the Cormorant can carry up to 500 kilograms (1,100 pounds) of cargo or equipment in both commercial and emergency response scenarios. Further information on civil applications can be found here.