Aurora Flight Sciences GoldenEye 50

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Introduction

The Aurora Goldeneye is a reconnaissance UAV under development in the United States during the first decade of the 21st century. It is a ducted-fan design in roughly the same class as the Sikorsky Cypher II. This UAV was built under a DARPA contract and is apparently focused on covert or special forces operations.

The Goldeneye is a “tailsitter” or “pogo” machine that takes off and lands straight up. It is a stumpy-looking machine with four tailfins, each with landing gear on the fintip, and a wing that pivots, allowing it to be aligned with the aircraft centerline in cruise flight and at a right angle to the centerline in hover flight.

The Goldeneye is built of graphite and fiberglass composites, and has a low radar, infrared, and acoustic signature. It is powered by a 28 kW (38 hp) Wankel-rotary engine from UAV Engines Ltd in the UK. It has an autonomous flight control system with GPS-INS navigation.

The Goldeneye can carry a small electo-optic sensor turret or other payload and features a radio datalink. Apparently the DARPA specification mysteriously required that it be able to carry “two coke-can size payloads” that were not described further. Aurora is working on a half-scale version of the Goldeneye for commercial sales.

Specs

ModelLength
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Wingspan
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Height
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Max. Takeoff Weight
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Max Speed
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Range
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Endurance
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Ceiling
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Payload
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GoldenEye 501.378.2185.2115240.9

Manufacturer
CountryNameHeadquartersURL
USAAurora Flight SciencesManassas,Virginiahttp://www.aurora.aero