Warplanes: An African Made UAV For Local Needs


October 24, 2016: A South African firm (a division of Ultimate Aviation) has developed the Viper 1000C, a 1.1 ton UAV based on the German Stemme motorized glider. Similar in size and performance to the American Predator, the 1000C was designed to accommodate the needs of African users, and those in other underdeveloped parts of the world. For example, most African air space is not covered by a commercial ATC (Air Traffic Control) system and aircraft are on their own when outside the range of airport radars. Thus the Viper 1000C has a transponder and collision avoidance system.

The 1000C has a max endurance of 28 hours and max payload of 350 kg (770 pounds). There are hard points under each wing, each capable of holding up to 40 kg. That can either be additional fuel or sensors (radar, cameras, electronic surveillances or whatever). Internally the 1000C has a high-definition vidcam and night vision camera as well as the communications and guidance systems. The flight control system handles takeoffs and landings as well as programmed search or surveillance missions. A human operator can also fly the UAV. Cruise speed is 203 kilometers an hour and max altitude is 7,700 meters (25,000 feet).

The manufacturer also offers a control trailer suited to operating the 1000C in remote areas. The 6x2.56x2 meter (19.5x8.3x6.5 feet) trailer contains radio and satellite communications gear, local weather monitoring equipment plus pilot and payload operator stations. There is also a generator, water and fuel tanks plus kitchen, bunks, a toilet and a shower. The 1000C is built for commercial and government users and a military version is planned if there is a market for it. There is definitely a market for the government/commercial version. Africa is a big place and most of it is sparsely populated but full of natural resources. The manufacturer, Ultimate Aviation, already does business in 17 African nations and four Middle Eastern ones and the 1000C is in response to customer demand for a UAV more suitable to their needs.


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