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 aerial 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 aircraft and helicopters, is the ideal choice for Special Purpose Operations.
The rear cockpit seat and control-column are capable of being quickly interchanged through the simple removal of three pawl-spring locking pins. Any special purposes payload equipment can thus be rapidly secured in the rear cockpit space, enabling the uTe to function effectively in a multitude of airborne roles:
Apart from the development of an optional camera-pod which can be chin-mounted on the uTe, the fact that the aircraft cockpit doors can be removed in a variety of configurations, combined with stable slow-speed manoeuvring ability, make photography from the rear-seat of the uTe a breeze (no pun intended!)
Various software systems and data gathering instrumentation can be fitted in the rear-cockpit on a purpose made quick-mount fitting. This instrumentation can be coupled to a mast-mounted transmitter/receiver antenna.
Census and airborne detection
Because of the aircraft’s excellent low-speed stability, manoeuvrability and all-round visibility, finding, mustering or tallying game or domestic animals, whether lost, injured or ground-camouflaged, can be quickly accomplished from the air.
Simplified procedures allows rapid reaction when an ‘eye-in-the-sky’ is needed to locate poachers at-large. Excellent manoeuverability and all-round visibility from the aircraft makes escape and evasion on the ground almost impossible!
Gathering data from tagged animals, satellite downlinks and ground-research team up- and downlinks can also be effortlessly achieved using suitable data-link equipment fitted in the rear cockpit space.
Patrolling & inspection of pipe & power-lines and road & rail-ways can be efficiently undertaken from the air, provided a stable, reliable aircraft with good performance and economy at both higher and very low speed is available for the task. The uTe fills this niche perfectly, particularly considering the fact that the direct, per-hour operating cost of this gyroplane, is only about one-quarter that of a light, piston helicopter!
Air-cover and patrol functions
Traffic monitoring, crowd control, anti-crime and allied operations require an aircraft such as the uTe, offering good visibility, stable handling and extended endurance. A wide-bandwidth data-link could be incorporated to facilitate ground communication and real-time video-data transfer.
Marine & forest management
Patrolling, fire spotting and policing of these resources is much more efficiently and exhaustively undertaken from such a quick, agile, versatile, airborne platform!
This relatively new discipline requires the employment of a robust, low-speed, stable aerial platform. To improve data resolution and ground penetration, the survey aircraft must operate safely and predictably at low airspeed, close to the ground.
As mentioned previously, the uTe performs admirably in such conditions – it is eminently stable at slow speed, low-level operations even in the presence of turbulence associated with hot-weather thermal activity.
The uTe, so employed, would carry boom-mounted flux-gate magnetometers attached to the supplied hard points on the landing gear attachment brackets and extending out to each side of the aircraft, while a suitable scanning spectrometer would be fitted on the customised mounting platform in the rear cockpit space.
Transport in inaccessible areas
Game farming / hunting and other types of large, minimum-infrastructure farming concessions often spend excessively of their resources in attending to boundary-patrol, fence security and general maintenance functions in remote locations. The ability to utilise short, rough ‘airstrips’ for take-off and landing means that, on larger farms, having a number of strategically placed strips will significantly reduce journey times to distant locations, while the various light tools and equipment required for maintaining water-troughs, fencing and other infrastructure, can be safely and easily transported in the generously-sized, rear-cockpit mounted utility-crate.
Airborne agricultural applications
Ample excess power available and rugged reliability make the aircraft eminently suitable for employment in a number of demanding spheres associated with crop-splashing, aerial-baiting and sterile-insect aerial-release.
A suitable spray-boom or aerial-release machine can be easily designed and constructed to satisfy the release requirements of any of the extant Sterile Insect Technology (X-SIT, Fruit-fly Africa, etc.) projects. Safety, versatility and low operational-cost make the uTe gyroplane the aerial-vehicle of choice for this line of work.
Leisure flying and air-touring
Unit price and operating costs are probably the two most pointed considerations when deciding on which recreational aircraft to purchase. Although recreational flying is not the primary development focus, the uTe still scores highly in both of these departments. This, coupled to outstanding baggage carrying capacity (dual or solo!), makes the versatile, innovative uTe simply the best-value gyroplane on the world market today!
The uTe also makes an ideal training platform. The flight and cockpit controls operate in the conventional manner, similar to fixed-wing aircraft while, at the same time, the gyroplane shares a number of similar operating characteristics with helicopters. Gyroplanes can fly at lower airspeed than fixed wing aircraft, but cannot stall . . . they can fly faster than helicopters, but cannot hover.
When considering the safety of training platforms, since a gyroplane is always in a state of autorotation, should power fail at any altitude, the aircraft simply remains in autorotation and can be manoeuvred to land safely on any selected flat piece of ground.
This gyroplane clearly provides a ‘best-of-both-worlds’ solution for any flight school or training-academy!