RapidFlight Awarded $10 Million Contract for Autonomous Aircraft Development

RapidFlight has secured a contract worth up to $10 million from the United States Department of the Air Force (DAF) under the AFWERX Autonomy Prime program. The contract involves developing and producing the SPX, a customizable, autonomous fixed-wing aircraft system.

RapidFlight to develop and produce the SPX, a customizable, autonomous, fixed-wing aircraft system, with the help of a $10 million contract by the DAF AFWERX Autonomy Prime Program. Image: RapidFlight.

Key Project Details

  • Objective: Design and produce the SPX UAV, featuring a 12 lb. payload capacity, 150 nm range, and a modular payload bay.
  • Technology: Utilizes RapidFlight Common Avionics 2.0 for supporting various payloads and autonomous flight.
  • Process: RapidFlight’s AgileAviation™ process aims to reduce development time and costs by up to 80%.

Development Phases

In the first phase of the 36-month contract, RapidFlight will design SPX UAVs for testing at the Autonomy Prime Proving Ground. This will be followed by a contractor-owned, contractor-operated (COCO) demonstration at RapidFlight’s Manassas, VA facility. Comprehensive training for USAF operators is also included.

Statements from Leadership

Mike Uffelman, RapidFlight’s Director of Growth and Customer Programs, highlighted the partnership’s potential: “Our collaboration with the AFWERX Autonomy Prime Program positions RapidFlight as a leading innovator for delivering mission-customized, autonomous aircraft with up to 80% reduced design-to-manufacture time and platform costs compared to existing solutions.”

Lt Col Josh Fehd, AFWERX Autonomy Prime branch chief, added, “This innovative approach represents a promising opportunity to continue our mission of creating a rapid, affordable, and iterative autonomy testing and transition capability for the DAF.”

SPX Platform Details

Each SPX system includes four airframes, a ground control station, a field kit, and a compact launcher. The system’s modular design supports a range of payloads, sensors, and autonomy packages, enabling rapid and economical real-world flight testing.