CQ-10 Snowgoose is a glider UAV developed by Mist Mobility Integrated Systems Technology (MMIST), a Canadian firm, for the purpose of pinpoint precision small cargo delivery. It is one of the earliest UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) used by US military in the war in Afghanistan.
The Snowgoose UAV uses a parafoil for lift and then a "pusher" propeller to help with the glide. A newer version of the UAV CQ-10B actually includes an autogyro rotor for lift and is capable of vertical take off and landing. Therefore the UAV is capable of three types of deployments:
- ground launching from the back of a truck or Humvee,
- air launching from the back of a cargo plane,
- or self launching using the gyro rotor.
In 2003, U.S. Special Operations Command bought five of these for $250,000 each and deployed them to Afghanistan in support of special operations in the tough terrains.
With the steep price tag, it is unlikely to see such UAVs used in search and rescue missions (with the exception of this story), which is kind of a shame. That's why cheaper and smaller Micro-UAVs stand better chance of actually deployment in local search and rescue teams.
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