AeroVironment Hits Milestone In DARPA Project

Monrovia, California-based AeroVironment, a developer of energy products and unmanned aerial vehicles, disclosed this morning that it has achieved a milestone as part of a grant from the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA), and as a result, has been granted a contract extension on the program. According to Aerovironment, it has demonstrated controlled hovering flight of an air vehicle system using two flapping wings--part of a DARPA goal to create "nano" air vehicles. DARPA is looking to create very small air vehicle which can be used for military reconnaissance in an urban environment. AeroVironment said its Phase II efforts on the program will now focus on optimizing its aircraft for longer flight, reducing size and weight, and more. The program, which continues through summer 2010, is worth $2.1M.