MIPS 25th Anniversary Profile: American Dynamics Flight Systems–vertical takeoff and landing unmanned aerial vehicle

Leading up to (and beyond) the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) 25th Anniversary Gala, each weekday we will briefly profile one of the 500+ companies that have utilized MIPS funding to bring innovations to market and create jobs in Maryland. These profiles will be collected in a commemorative book, released at the celebration on November 7.

Project Manager:  Paul Vasilescu;  Principal InvestigatorJewel Barlow, UMD
Location:  Jessup, Maryland – Howard County;  Project Start Date:  2/1/2010

Business Description
American Dynamics Flight Systems is an advanced technology development company focused on the development of innovative aerospace and defense systems and technologies. The company’s vision is to develop and field the most capable VTOL unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). ADFS designs, develops, manufactures, operates, and maintains revolutionary unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), including the AD-150. The company is also developing a series of aerodynamically optimized launchers for the Hydra 70 and APKWS weapon systems.

ADFS is developing an unmanned aerial vehicle that takes off vertically and shifts mid-air to horizontal flight. Called the AD-150, the aircraft is one of the few unmanned vehicles that can take off vertically and travel like an airplane at speeds of the Osprey (about 240 miles per hour). It can carry weaponry, an array of sensors or wounded soldiers with its 1,000-pound payload.

The AD-150 is being developed for emerging U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps requirements for high-speed, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft systems.

During two MIPS projects, the company sought to create a flight dynamics model for the aircraft, as well as test the vehicle’s propulsion system.

ADFS conducted extensive, successful testing of both a model of the aircraft and its propulsion system in the Glenn L. Martin Wind Tunnel during two different MIPS projects.

ADFS was awarded four government contracts for $680,000, acquired contracts with non-defense companies, and increased market awareness by teaming with contractors for a tier-one defense contract.

Interesting Fact
ADFS has also developed a proprietary tool that sits between computational flight dynamics and computer-automated design software that automatically creates the most aerodynamic shape for a particular application.

MIPS-Related Quote
“MIPS allowed us to push our technology forward, and we wouldn’t be anywhere near the maturity of our technology if it wasn’t for MIPS.”
-–Wayne Morse, President and CEO, American Dynamics Flight Systems

Download the American Dynamics Flight Systems spread from the upcoming book, “MIPS 25thAnniversary Commemorative Collection: Creating Partners in Innovation,” to be released at the MIPS 25th Anniversary Gala on Nov. 7.

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