The innovative design and construction approach applied in the manufacture of the uTe gyroplane, ensures uncomplicated conversion between the various ‘Special Purposes Operations’ equipment options available.
Since most of this type of ‘utility work’ is carried out in remote areas, where fuel and infrastructure availability is restricted, a suitable platform must be able to operate from rough, minimally prepared airstrips and operate on common motor-vehicle fuel (MoGas). The uTe has been designed with just such restrictions in mind and, coupled with very reasonable operating costs, especially in comparison to certified GA rotorcraft, is the ideal choice for the special purpose operations mentioned.
The rear cockpit seat and control-column can be quickly removed through the removal of pawl-spring locking pins. Any suitably-designed and -tested payload can then be secured in the generously-proportioned rear cockpit, using attachment hardware which is of the same design as that used to secure the seat in place. This hardware commonality, together with the availability of auxiliary power in the rear cockpit, enable the uTe to be quickly re-configured to operate in a multitude of airborne roles:
Various options are available for integration into a suitable chin-mount camera-pod. This can be utilised in numerous applications requiring recorded or, when coupled with suitable antennae, real time image transmission. Also, due to the fact that the aircraft cockpit doors can be removed, combined with stable slow-speed manoeuverability, makes aerial-photography from the rear-seat of the uTe a breeze (no pun intended!)
Various hardware systems and data-link instrumentation can be fitted in the rear-cockpit, using purpose-made equipment-racks which attach to the existing seat-attachment hardpoints. To permit data up/down-link, this instrumentation can be connected to the rear cockpit electrical supply and then linked to mast-mounted transmitter/receiver antenna options.
Because of this rotorcraft’s excellent low-speed capability, manoeuvrability and all-round visibility, finding, mustering or tallying lost, injured or widely-dispersed game or domestic stock, can be quickly and cost-effectively accomplished from the air.
Easy, simplified hangaring, ground manoeuvring and flight-readying ensures rapid reaction when air-support is called-upon to locate criminals on the run! The uTe’s excellent agility and all-round visibility makes escape and evasion on the ground almost impossible!
In this role, the rotorcraft rear cockpit can be reconfigured to carry a pair of properly-trained & -armed responders who can be rapidly deployed to pre-selected ground-positions, allowing them to waylay fleeing poachers or hijackers, as required.
Tracking and data-gathering from tagged animals, satellite downlinks and ground-team up-links will be effortless with a uTe equipped with the necessary data-link equipment. The equipment suite required can be fixed on a purpose-made rack which mates with the existing rear seat attachment hardpoints and plugs into the rear-cockpit electrical supply provided.
Patrol & inspection of all linear infrastructure (river-/road-/railways & power-/pipelines) can be efficiently undertaken from the stable, reliable uTe, returning excellent performance and economy at both airspeed extremes. This is particularly so considering the fact that the direct, per-hour operating cost of this gyroplane, is only about one-sixth that of a light, piston helicopter!
Traffic monitoring, crowd control, vehicle tracking and allied anti-crime operations are far more effective when coupled with aerial-support, particularly using a rotorcraft of this caliber, with excellent visibility and extended endurance. Data-link hardware would, typically, be used to facilitate clear air-to-ground communication and real-time video-data transfer.
Coastal-patrol (including armed piracy interdiction), fire-spotting and policing of natural resources is much more efficiently and exhaustively undertaken from a nimble, versatile, cost-effective airborne platform such as the uTe!
The relatively new discipline of aerial-survey requires that, to ensure proper data resolution and ground penetration, the survey aircraft must operate with optimum stability at low airspeed and altitude. The uTe performs admirably in such conditions – even in the presence of turbulence associated with hot-weather thermal activity. When so employed, the rotorcraft will carry boom-mounted flux-gate magnetometers attached to supplied hard points, with a scanning spectrometer mounted in the rear-cockpit on a purpose-made rack, mated with the existing rear seat-shelf hardware and electrical supply.
Game farming / hunting safaris and similar large, minimal-infrastructure land-use activities must pay particular attention to boundary-patrol, fence security or general maintenance functions in remote locations. The ability to utilise short, minimally-prepared ‘airstrips’ for take-off and landing means that, on larger farms, having a number of strategically placed strips will enable the uTe-owner to employ aerial-based servicing of remote infrastructure. The various light tools and equipment required for maintaining watering-points, fencing and similar improvements, is easily transported in the large, rear-cockpit secured utility-crate.
Ample excess power available and rugged reliability make the uTe ideally-suited for servicing a number of demanding roles associated with crop-splashing, aerial-baiting and application of pesticide on locust swarms – i.e., those where lower per-hectare delivery volumes are required. Suitable spray-boom/pump/delivery systems are under development and integration.
The rotorcraft is also an extremely accomplished delivery platform throughout the full range of sterile-insect aerial-release programs. A range of aerial-release machines have been designed and tested – these satisfy the release requirements of any of the extant Sterile Insect Technology (X-SIT, FFA, etc.) projects.
Safety and versatility make the uTe gyroplane the ideal aerial-release vehicle for use in this line of work.
Purchase and operating costs, together with suitability-for-purpose, most often determine which recreational aircraft to acquire. Admittedly, recreational flying was not the primary focus during the uTe development process, however, this rotorcraft still scores very highly under such considerations and, adding the fact that the uTe has additional baggage capacity, the versatile, innovative uTe is, quite-simply, the best-value gyroplane available.
The rugged, no-nonsense uTe is an ideal training platform and exactly the type of gyroplane required when the accelerated-wear due to the rigours of high-intensity flight-training services is considered. Sporting proven engine reliability and robust design and construction philosophy, this gyroplane clearly provides the best solution for any flight school or training-academy!
Essential items (e.g., chronic medication, emergency medical supplies or other, vital items of aid) can be effectively distributed to recipients in sparsely-populated rural areas, where limited or degraded road infrastructure renders land-based distribution impossible. Targeted, GPS-directed air-drop of these items will be much more-effectively undertaken, particularly from a low speed, low altitude delivery vehicle such as this AUV.