SURVICE: Humble Beginnings
This is a sidebar to the article, "SURVICE for Service," Vertiflite, Sept/Oct 2023
VFS began its Transformative Vertical Flight workshops nearly a decade ago because of the groundswell of innovators around the world who were harnessing advancements in batteries, electric motors, advanced manufacturing and fly-by-wire flight controls to get eVTOL aircraft off the ground.
As summarized in the VFS World eVTOL Aircraft Directory, Chris Malloy had originally built a gasoline-powered hoverbike in 2006. In 2013, he founded Malloy Aeronautics, Ltd. in Berkshire, England.
The Army Research Laboratory started looking at what was then called the Joint Tactical Aerial Resupply Vehicle (JTARV) around this time and in 2015, SURVICE Engineering won a contract to work with Malloy to explore applications in a joint effort with the Marine Corps.
Dr. Will Roper, then the director of the Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) at the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and members of his staff visited the ARL’s Aberdeen Proving Ground to see a demonstration in January 2017 (see “ARL Looks to the Future of Vertical Flight,” Vertiflite, Jan/Feb 2018). This likely inspired him to begin the Agility Prime program in 2019, when he became the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
In addition to its work with SURVICE for the US Department of Defense, Malloy Aeronautics is also working with BAE Systems to supply some of its drones to the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), supporting Ukraine’s efforts to fight off the Russian invasion.
Malloy’s largest platform, the P4-C can carry a payload of more than 400 lb (180 kg), over short distances.