Aerosonde Products & Services

Products & Services



Products & Services

The Aerosonde® unmanned aircraft system (UAS) offers an impressive endurance of more than 26 hours (with a minimal payload). With a full electro-optic/infrared payload, the Aerosonde aircraft can achieve more than 10 hours’ endurance. One of the earliest proofs of its outstanding endurance was its Atlantic Ocean crossing in the late 1990s – the Aerosonde was the first unmanned aircraft to achieve this milestone.

This impressive endurance, as well as the aircraft’s payload flexibility, modularity and affordability, make it an ideal choice for remote data collection and reconnaissance missions for military, civil and scientific entities. The aircraft employs a catapult system to take off from small, remote clearings and ships, and also can launch from the roof of a fast-moving ground vehicle.  It can land via belly or net capture using AAI’s proprietary launch and recovery trailer, or LRT, system with Soft Hands™ recovery technology.

With these capabilities, the Aerosonde aircraft has accumulated several significant flight milestones including:

  • The Aerosonde Mark 4.7 was showcased at the 2010 Bahrain Air Show, where the flight team conducted the system’s first flights in the Middle East region. These included a flight during a driving sand storm, which displayed the aircraft’s rugged, all-weather capability.

  • In 2009, the Aerosonde Mark 4.7 system was introduced to provide expeditionary intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Including the novel Soft Hands net recovery technology, the system rounded out the year with a successful shipboard launch and recovery demonstration off the M-80 Stiletto ship.

  • In 2007, an Aerosonde was the first unmanned aircraft to penetrate the eye of a hurricane. Under a program administered by NASA and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Aerosonde aircraft flew a mission of more than 17 hours, a record 7.5 of which were spent navigating Hurricane Noel’s eye and boundary layer.

  • During 2006, the aircraft set a world flight endurance record in its class by remaining in flight without refueling for more than 38 hours.

As part of AAI’s UAS business unit, the Aerosonde aircraft is integrated into AAI’s interoperability network of common ground control technologies. These platforms enable military customers to utilize both the Aerosonde aircraft and AAI’s Shadow® UAS in support of their missions.

Learn more about the aircraft in this section under Product Development History and Services.