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Piasecki ARES (concept design)

Piasecki Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) tilt-duct uncrewed conventional VTOL air cargo air aircraft. This is a public domain graphic created on February 11, 2014.


ARES (concept design)
Piasecki Aircraft Corporation
Essington, Pennsylvania, USA

Piasecki Aircraft Corporation was founded by Frank Piasecki in 1955 in Pennsylvania, USA. The company's origin dates back to 1936 with the P-V Engineering Forum and with a name change from the P-V Engineering Forum in 1946 to the Piasecki Helicopter Corporation. After a disagreements with other owners, Frank Piasecki and some of his design team left Piasecki Helicopter Corporation and formed the Piasecki Aircraft Corporation in 1955. (The above DARPA graphic is public domain created on February 11, 2014. Images below, Piasecki credit.)

Today, the company is in the research and development business specializing in design, fabrication and flight testing of experimental rotorcraft and unmanned air vehicles. Piasecki's expertise lies in rapid prototyping and developing ground-breaking technologies resulting in aircraft design, development, qualification and flight testing. The company maintains an AS9100 certified quality system.

Here is a partial list of some of the helicopters and VTOL aircraft Piasecki designed, manufactured and have flown.

  • PV-1 (Helicopter demonstrator, 1 main rotorblade, fan in tail cone
  • PV-2 (Second successful flying helicopter in the USA, one main rotorblade, one tail canyon)
  • XHRP-X Dogship (World's first tandem helicopter)
  • XHJP-1 (First overlapped tandem helicopter)
  • HRP-1 (World's first transport helicopter in production)
  • YH-16 (World's largest helicopter, 1953)
  • PH-26 (This helicopter led to the development to the CH-46 Sea Knight and CH-47 Chinook helicopters)
  • H-25, HUP-1, HUP-2, XHRP-1, YH-21, H-21A Workhorse, HRP-2, H-21B, H-21C (Tandem helicopters)
  • PA-59k, PA59N, PA-59H (Flying platform or Jeep)
  • PA4 Sea Bat (First drone, USA)
  • PA-2C Ring-Wing (First VTOL concept aircraft)
  • 16H-1 Pathfinder (First shaft driven compound helicopter)
  • 16H-1A Pathfinder II, 16H-3F, 16H-3J, MLR, AH-1, AH-64 VTCAD, AH-64 VTDP, AH-1 VTCAD, 4BW VTDP, H-60 VTDP, JHL,  (Compound helicopters)
  • PA-39-54E (Heavy-lift helicopter)
  • SH-2D/RT (Helicopter)
  • STAMP (Platform or drone?)
  • PA-97-34J (Heavy vertical airlifter, dirigible airship)
  • W-3A Sokol (Helicopter)
  • Sea Spy, Air Guard, Air Scout, Drexel (VTOL UAV)
  • ARES, OVX (VTOL aircraft)

The current (as of 2023) Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) is tilt-duct uncrewed air vehicle and the aircraft's propellers are turned via a mechanical system driven by two turboshaft engines. Piasecki was awarded a $37 million (USD) multi-year contract by AFWERX, the Air Force’s innovation arm, to demonstrate the ARES logistics aircraft. The breakdown of AFWERX is "AF" for the U.S. Air Force and "WERX" represents work project. However, Piasecki is exploring a hybrid-electric VTOL version of the ARES aircraft.

Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) uncrewed hybrid-electric VTOL air cargo concept design aircraft
Piasecki is exploring an Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES) uncrewed hybrid-electric VTOL air cargo concept design aircraft. Details have not been released by the company at this time. The unique feature of the ARES aircraft is the wings and propellers are one unit and can remotely pick up and deliver cargo pods.

The advantage of using electric motors versus using transmissions, gears and shafts, is that electric motors are lighter, are more reliable, efficiency increases, safety increases, are less complex, have less moving parts, can perform extremely fast adjustments from slow to fast and reverse, can handle lifting heavy loads and still provide high and low torque whenever required. Hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft cost less to manufacture, have less maintenance requirements, cost less to maintain, can carry heavier loads and usually have a faster cruise speed than conventionally powered aircraft. While transmissions and gears and shafts have many moving parts, an electric motor has one moving part.

ARES uncrewed conventional VTOL without a cargo pod

ARES uncrewed conventional VTOL without a cargo pod

ARES uncrewed conventional VTOL with a cargo pod

ARES uncrewed conventional VTOL with a cargo pod


  • Aircraft type: Uncrewed hybrid-electric VTOL air cargo concept design aircraft
  • Piloting: Uncrewed piloting
  • Capacity: Air cargo
  • Cruise speed: Unknown
  • Propellers: Unknown
  • Electric motors: Unknown
  • Power source: Hybrid-electric power source

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