Piasecki Earns $37M Air Force Contract to Develop ARES VTOL | eVTOL

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A few years ago, uncrewed aerial systems (UAS) developer Piasecki Aircraft struck out when its contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was canceled due to delays and high costs. On Tuesday, though, the company had a reversal of fortune.

Piasecki announced it was awarded a multiyear, $37 million contract with AFWERX, the innovation arm of the U.S. Air Force, through the division’s Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) program. The agreement will allow the Pennsylvania-based firm to test and demonstrate its Aerial Reconfigurable Embedded System (ARES)—the same UAS project that was snubbed by DARPA.

In addition, the contract calls for Piasecki to demonstrate hydrogen fuel cell propulsion technology for vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and other aviation applications, which it developed in collaboration with ZeroAvia. The…

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