MTSI’s Latest Project Gives Fixed-Wing Aircraft Vertical Cargo Lift Capabilities
While the RAES pod could very well be the spiritual successor to the Central Intelligence Agency’s Skyhook program, the new system is not limited to a specifically modified aircraft. The new capability could enable any fixed wing aircraft or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to extract or deliver payloads without landing.
Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI), an engineering services and technology company based in Alexandria, Virginia, has developed an unconventional tethered deployment method for precision cargo delivery and search and rescue (SAR) recovery. The Rapid Aerial Extraction System (RAES) pod is a self-contained device that can attach to an ordnance pylon on any fixed-wing aircraft and enable it to provide vertical lift recovery capability like that of a helicopter.
The pod has the potential to fill a niche role in delivering small, sensitive payloads or extracting embedded personnel or stranded survivors from dangerous areas where helicopters or traditional vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft – and their crews – would be at risk. MTSI believes that the pod will expand the range and of rescue operations, potentially making previously inexecutable operations viable.
“RAES gives you the speed, range, and economy of a fixed-wing aircraft and the vertical lift hoist-like capability of rotorcraft," says Ben Bosma, principle engineer at MTSI. “The system is scalable and can be mounted on a wide variety of aircraft from fighters to transports.”
William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include literally anything that has to do with space, past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology.