“This company’s drone set flight-time records. But what it really wants is more work with the Pentagon” –Defense News

A Vanilla ultra endurance land-launched unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operates during U.S. Pacific Fleet’s Unmanned Systems Integrated Battle Problem (UxS IBP) 21 at Naval Base Ventura County, Point Mugu, on April 24, 2021. UxS IBP 21 integrates manned and unmanned capabilities into challenging operational scenarios to generate warfighting advantages. (MC2 Michael Schutt/U.S. Navy)

Defense News report,

WASHINGTON — Small business Platform Aerospace continued to set records in 2021 with its Vanilla Unmanned family of drones, but the company says it’s working to ensure it’s building a relevant warfighting platform, not just an aerospace novelty.

The Vanilla UAV in its long-endurance configuration set a world record in September and into October, when it flew for eight days, 50 minutes and 47 seconds out of Edwards Air Force Base in California. The aircraft had previously demonstrated a five-day flight.

We talked about this UAS, from veteran-owned small business Platform Aerospace, when it set the earlier record. Since then, there have been some significant developments including a drug interdiction capability test with SOUTHCOM.

“… in July with U.S. Southern Command. The vehicle flew out of Key West with a mesh radio, satellite communications, a radar pod and an electro-optical/infrared camera, demonstrating what a multi-day drone with a complex payload package could accomplish.”

There is also this mention of a sensor, that might be applied to other UAS, that could come in handy for icebreakers.

“While the bulk of Platform Aero’s work has been with the military, and chiefly the Navy, Pappianou said the aircraft flew a mission with a proprietary radar designed by the University of Kansas to measure snow and ice depths in the Arctic Circle.”

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