AeroVironment’s Jump 20: Leading the US Army’s FTUAS Drone Competition with Advanced Tech

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AeroVironment's Jump 20
AeroVironment's Jump 20

The U.S. Army’s Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) program seeks a replacement for the long-serving RQ-7B Shadow drone. A key limitation of the Shadow is its dependence on ground support equipment for launch and recovery.

Enter the AeroVironment Jump 20, a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) UAS designed for agile deployment. This fixed-wing system boasts impressive flight times exceeding 13 hours, enabling extensive surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Additionally, the Jump 20’s operational reach can be extended through data link relays, providing critical information over long distances. The modular design allows for a wide range of payloads up to 30 pounds, making it suitable for diverse tasks.

Finally, the system’s rapid deployment time of under an hour ensures it can be operational quickly in ever-changing battlefield scenarios. With its impressive endurance, range, and adaptability, the Jump 20 emerges as a frontrunner in the FTUAS competition.

AeroVironment's Jump 20
AeroVironment’s Jump 20 (AeroVironment)

A major leap in drone technology was achieved by AeroVironment with the successful test flight of their JUMP 20 drone featuring a novel heavy-fuel engine. This breakthrough promises to revolutionize gas-powered drones by delivering significant boosts in power and efficiency.

While specifics about the engine are confidential, AeroVironment confirmed it’s a custom-built powerhouse for unmanned aerial vehicles, generating over 15 horsepower. Furthermore, the engine offers compatibility with a variety of fuels and boasts lower whole-fuel consumption.

This innovation is also lighter than previous gasoline engines and features an automatic start function, minimizing the need for operator involvement.

The official integration of this engine into the JUMP 20 remains to be seen, but the successful test positions AeroVironment as a strong contender in the US Army’s selection process for its next tactical drone platform.


By Aaron

From Vintage Classics to Modern Marvels, Aaron is deeply immersed in the Automobile culture. He is from Kerala and a Man of Few words. He is Someone who loves to spend his free time reading automobile articles and watching TV Shows.

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