USI provides the most qualified and experienced Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) aircrew and test personnel to support all of your UAS needs.
Since 2003, we have served as the United States Air Force’s primary contractor for developmental and operational testing of the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper systems.
In addition, USI has designed, built, and certified our own small UAS for flight training, research and development, and market survey tasks.
World class aviation expertise. Defined by experience.
Our considerable experience working with the U.S. military, federal agencies, foreign military partners and Fortune 500 companies ensures the highest level of performance excellence and quality of service.
Highly Skilled Professionals
USI has assembled a highly skilled and professional flying team comprised of military and civilian trained aviators. These aviation professionals have demonstrated the ability to train and develop courseware for a wide variety of manned, unmanned, civilian and military aviation flight systems.
A History of Support
Our UAS experience spans nearly 20 years supporting the Department of Defense in the development of the MQ-1 Predator, MQ-9 Reaper and the RQ-5 Hunter UAS programs.
Our integration into the government testing process includes airworthiness, developmental testing, and integrated operational testing with other platforms.
Flying in airspace ranges across California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah, our operational testing established Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) for use by current military services and the Department of Homeland Security UAS program; bolstering our ability to ensure tested and combat proven instruction to the customer.
Manned and Unmanned
Our experience with both manned and unmanned systems allows us to fully understand the integration requirements at any location and facilitate safe flight operations.
Industry Leading Experience
Our team brings over 100,000 hours of flying experience conducting flight testing, instruction, evaluation, and combat support utilizing multiple platforms and employing the associated payloads to their maximum potential.
A state-of-the-art remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) training system.
Designed to provide UAV/UAS pilots with real, hands-on training from the convenience of a broadband internet connection, Longshot™ is a USI patented network technology specifically designed to minimize network latency during the remote operation of Sandstorm as well as other systems and applications.
The system provides a real world training platform capable of emulating various flight controls; allowing for proficiency training at 1/10th the cost of the same training on operational RPAs.
USI Sandstorm/Longshot™ training programs are designed to improve pilot skills and confidence during takeoff, landing and emergency procedures; reducing pilot error and related incidents, as well as repair and replacement costs of operational aircraft.
Lower training costs and risk
USI Sandstorm/Longshot™ dramatically reduces the cost of UAS/UAV training. Savings are significant enough to increase training throughput and simultaneously reduce training cost per head. USI Sandstorm/Longshot™ trained pilots benefit across the board from the readily accessible training with far less dependency on operational aircraft.
Expands operational capability of existing assets
Sandstorm/Longshot™ accommodates training demand, thereby significantly increasing availability of operational assets. Mission capable aircraft are more accessible for operations, while simulators can be utilized more efficiently for mission training.
A clear path to opportunity
Sandstorm/Longshot™ offers a quality introduction to UAS/RPA training for commercial, military and academic applications. And USI’s multiple airfield locations ensure rapid and persistent training opportunities.
FAA Experimental Airworthiness Certificate
- Wingspan: 15ft
- Length: 8ft
- Empty Weight: 30lbs
- Fuel Load: Electric / Jet A
- Payload: 30 / 50lbs
- Max Takeoff Weight: 60 / 70lbs
Aircraft Fabrication Technology
- Carbon composite construction
- Lithium-polymer battery system
- 18kVA brushless motor
- 400oz in-flight surface servos
- Live-hinge control surfaces
- Aero-poxy developed by Rutan™
- Matched aluminum 6061 landing gear w/ pneumatic brakes
- Trailing link nose gear
- Carbon prop
Propulsion & Limits
- 55lb Turboprop Engine
- 8HP Electric Motor
- Endurance: 1.0hrs / 6.0hrs
- Cruise Speed: 40 / 60kts
- Dash Speed: 100kts
- Max Altitude: 6000′ AGL
Durability, Longevity & Capability
- Interchangeable components
- Line Replaceable Units
- Easily upgradable / plug and play
- Fully functional turret
- Autopilot w/ Return Home, Loiter, Auto Take-Off and Auto Land
Control & Telemetry
- Longshot™ IP control system
- Forward control via 2.4GHz
- Video/Telemetry via 5.8GHz
- Operates in license-free ISM band
- Fail-safe on loss of link
- 200+ flights
- 12+ months flying without incident
- Sortie production rate of 100%
- Data link control – zero loss
- Local Pilot-In-Command seamless “hand-off” to remote pilot
Maximum Mobility & Deployability
- Transportable via cargo van or trailer
- Assembles in approx. 10 minutes
- Powerplant options: Electric or Turboprop
USI’s expert flight team maintains a high level of knowledge, understanding and respect for all aspects of flight and the associated flight systems. Our team’s goal of supporting a customer’s total aviation needs makes USI an aviation company second to none. USI’s dedication to excellence and professionalism ensures timely and accurate responses to all inquiries from any customer.
We have a proven record of support throughout the U.S. Air Force and with Fortune 500 companies for our ability to exceed requirements and ensure the highest level of quality support for any program; as recently highlighted by our support to provide integrated end-to-end solutions for the USAF. Our ability to proactively work with the customer allows USI to understand their needs. By interfacing constantly and directly with the customer, USI produces products with sufficient time for review and revision, leading to solid performance and customer satisfaction.
- Over 200 years of cumulative aviation experience
- USI aircrew are Test and Evaluation Qualified by the United States Air Force
- Versed in operation of both manned and unmanned aircraft
- Graduates of USAF Test Pilot School and National Test Pilot School
Training and Testing
- Customized training courses
- Manned and unmanned training
- Initial, Instructor and Test qualifications
- Sandstorm training translates into larger UAV operations
UAV Training with Sandstorm/Longshot™
Sandstorm offers a unique training ability as its operations are a fraction of the cost of larger UAV systems such as the MQ-1 Predator or MQ-9 Reaper. The Sandstorm training program is used by USI employees that fly the MQ-1 and MQ-9 aircraft for the DoD as a companion trainer. This reduces the risk in training and maintaining currency in the launch and landing phase of these larger systems which is where the majority of accidents occur.
USI offers this training on the Sandstorm for 1/10th the cost of operating an MQ-1 for the same amount of time. This cost savings allows a pilot to do more take offs and landings in a given training cycle at a lower cost.
Research and Development
USI brings with it the ability to support multiple types of UAS. As one of the few companies with its own UAS, USI provides flexibility by offering both fixed-wing and rotary-wing assets for training and research and development use.
The fixed-wing Sandstorm from USI has an FAA approved syllabus to provide background support for maneuvers and practical exercise. This platform provides support for basic/remote flight operations, maneuver practice and combined flight/sensor operations. Through a variable payload configuration, Sandstorm allows project flexibility.
Additionally, USI has acquired three multi-rotor UASs to provide a different set of skills and capabilities that are within our company’s core competency.
At USI, we believe that unmanned aircraft may not always be the answer to meet a particular requirement. With this in mind, we are capable of providing project specific consulting services to determine requirements and provide truly innovative solutions to your needs.
The field of remote sensing is constantly evolving as technology and regulations change. USI stands ready to provide an innovative team of personnel to achieve your company, agency or national security goals and navigate the unmanned vehicle market to find optimal business solutions and train platform operators.
Section 333 Exemption
By law, any aircraft operation in the national airspace requires a certificated and registered aircraft, a licensed pilot, and operational approval. Section 333 of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (FMRA) (PDF) grants the Secretary of Transportation the authority to determine whether an airworthiness certificate is required for a UAS to operate safely in the National Airspace System (NAS).
Our current fleet of fixed-wing and multi-rotor aircraft is Section 333 Exempt for aerial data collection, training and research operations, and closed set motion picture and filming; enabling us to serve the needs of a wide range of agricultural, commercial, creative, industrial and public sector applications.
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