Latitude Engineering has announced that, in conjunction with a team coordinated by L-3 Unmanned Systems, it has surpassed the world record for time aloft of a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft, using Latitude’s HQ-60 Hybrid Quadrotor UAV. The record was set during the Joint Interagency Field Experimentation Program (JIFX), with L-3’s team consisting of Power4Flight, Trillium Engineering, and Silvus Technologies.
The HQ-60, procured by L-3, launched at 2:06 PM PST and continuously flew until 12:39 PM PST the following day, successfully surpassing the record for time aloft of a VTOL aircraft, with a total flight time of 22 hours, 29 minutes, and 38 seconds, with fuel to spare. The Boeing A160 had previously flown the longest at 18 hours, 45 minutes.
To add further perspective on this achievement, the HQ-60 UAV flew approximately 1090.04 miles on a single tank of gas, while carrying a representative payload consisting of Trillium’s Orion HD50 EO/IR gimbal and a Silvus Streamcaster radio. The capabilities of the HQ-60 earned significant interest from JIFX attendees.
Hosted by the Naval Postgraduate School at the California National Guard’s Camp Roberts, JIFX provides an environment to encourage innovation and collaboration between DoD, government agencies, various industries, and universities. Special Operations Forces, the National Guard, and first responders participate to provide feedback on the effectiveness, affordability, and feasibility of new technologies showcased at JIFX.