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Griffon Aerospace Valiant (prototype)

Griffon Aerospace Valiant hybrid-electric VTOL tactical military UAV prototype aircraft

 

Valiant (prototype)
Griffon Aerospace
Madison, Alabama, USA
www.griffonaerospace.com

Griffon Aerospace was founded in 1995 by CEO Larry French and is based on Madison, Alabama, USA. The company was originally formed to design and manufacturer composite kit general aviation airplanes. In the early 2000s, the company expanded to making uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs). The company has delivered thousands of UAVs to the Unites States Department of Defense. In 2022, the company revealed in they designed and made a long-range hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) uncrewed prototype air vehicle for reconnaissance and surveillance military missions. (Above photo image credit: Griffon Aerospace)

Valiant hybrid-electric VTOL tactical military UAV prototype aircraft
The Valiant is an autonomous hybrid-electric VTOL tactical military UAV prototype aircraft used for reconnaissance and surveillance missions. The company has acknowledged that UAV aircraft being dependent on runways or launchers makes operations on battlefield more difficult to accomplish. CEO Larry French has stated the future of UAVs is VTOL aircraft. The Valiant prototype has been successfully flown many times.

The aircraft has four tilt-propellers, four electric engines and has a hybrid-electric power sources using a combustion engine, batteries and the associated electronics and hardware. The two front propellers are located on the front of the main wing and are larger than the rear propellers. The rear propellers are located at the top of the aircraft's V-tail. The front propellers carry 70% of the hover thrust and the back propellers carry 30%. When in forward flight, the front two propellers stop and fold back and the rear two propellers provide all the thrust needed for cruise flight. The aircraft has one high, long and skinny main wing. This wing design is needed for long-range flight and this type of wing also has low drag. The aircraft has a V-tail and is a belly lander or can land on a landing frame.

The aircraft has implemented a Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA). The aircraft also has a modular payload cassette that makes the aircraft extremely flexible to carry out multiple types of missions. By swapping out various payloads of mission equipment, the aircraft can have various reconnaissance and surveillance equipment based on the operations need.

The company notes the aircraft has close to silent flight by using a hybrid-electric power source with electric motors turning the propellers. The aircraft is 463L pallet compatible.

Valiant flying (Image credit: David Hylton)

Valiant flying (Image credit: David Hylton)

Valiant trade show model (Image credit: Vertical Flight Society)

Valiant trade show model (Image credit: Vertical Flight Society)

Valiant trade show model (Image credit: Vertical Flight Society)

Valiant trade show model (Image credit: Vertical Flight Society)

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Long-range hybrid-electric VTOL tactical military reconnaissance and surveillance operations UAV prototype aircraft
  • Piloting: Autonomous
  • Cruise speed: Unknown
  • Propellers: 4 tilt-propellers
  • Electric motors: 4 electric motors
  • Power source: Hybrid-electric power source
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
  • Wings: 1 high long thin main wing
  • Tail: V-tail
  • Landing gear: Belly lander or can land on a landing frame
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) means having multiple propellers (or electric ducted fans) and multiple electric motors on an aircraft so if one or more propellers (or electric ducted fans) or some electric motors fail, the other working propellers (or electric ducted fans) and electric motors can safely land the aircraft. DEP provides safety through redundancy for its passengers or cargo. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft providing safety through redundancy. Having multiple redundant systems on any aircraft decreases having any single point of failure.

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