Defence Research – Draganflyer X8 UAV – November 2010
A pair of Draganflyer X8 micro UAV (from Saskatoon) for DRDC
Autonomous Robotic Platform Field Trials
– MERX ACAN Notice
This $40,000 ACAN is for 'man-pack' micro UAVs. The "electric rotocraft" in question are Draganflyer X8
UAV helicopters from Draganfly Innovations of Saskatoon, SK. Unveiled in Aug 2010, the Draganflyer
X8 builds on previous Draganfly rotory-wing UAV designs. In effect, Draganflyer X8 is the counter-rotating
pairs of rotors from a Draganflyer X6 but mounted on cruciform arms like those of earlier Draganflyer
Those cruciform arms fold for compact storage (and carrying satisfying DND's "man portable" require- ment).
When operational, the Draganflyer X8 UAV measures 87cm x 87cm x 32cm high. When folded, it compacts to 54 cm
wide. Construction is mostly of moulded carbon fibre ( including propeller blades ).
The Draganflyer X8 centre body holds the battery and data links. At the outer end of each arm is a pod
holding two electric motors driving the counter-rotating propellers the upper rotors having a diameter
of 40 cm, the lower rotors having a 38 cm diameter.
As usual, this ACAN provides as little information as DND and Public Works can get away with. Only the
supplier's name and a rationale are given. Were citizens wanting to know how their money is being
spent, they must know to look in a separate annex.
Annex A reveals that $40K buys 2 micro UAV systems. They will not be operational UAVs. They are for ongoing
'Autonomous Robotic Platform' field trials at CFB Suffield. Air vehicles and ground controllers will come from
the supplier. Government-supplier equipment consists of an "auton- omy package" and two laser rangefinders (Hokuyo
UTM-30LXs retailing for $6K each). As a DRDC experimental trial, this ACAN emphasizes how few successful UAV
types DND was able to field for Afghanistan combat operations.
An edited text of the ACAN (as published on the MERX website) is reproduced here.
[Draganflyer] MAN PORTABLE ELECTRIC ROTO- CRAFT ACAN [ Advance
Contact Award Notice ]
Reference Number PW-$REG-151-4078
Solicitation Number W7702-115097/A
Organization Name Public Works and Government Services
Travaux publics et Services gouvernementaux Canada
Associated Components No
Closing 2010-11-29 02:00 PM Central Standard Time CST
GSINS N1550A: DRONES, UNMANNED AIR VEHICLE MANUFACTURERS
Region of Delivery Alberta
Region of Opportunity —
Agreement Type Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT)
Tender Type Advance Contract
Award Notice (ACAN)
Estimated Value —
Solicitation Method —
MAN PORTABLE ELECTRIC ROTOCRAFT [...]
Vendor Name and Address:
Draganfly Innovations Inc.
2108 St. George Avenue Saskatoon Saskatchewan
Canada S7K0M7 [...]
The objective of the ARP 12pu [Autonomous Robotic Platform field trial] is to demon- strate semi-autonomous,
micro-aerial vehicles that reduce operator workload and provide situational awareness to the dismounted warfighter
in complex terrain using commercial-off-the-shelf technology. This will be achieved by simplifying UAV operations
through obstacle avoidance and soldier-centered maneuver behaviours, such as: follow me, look out ahead of me,
go to, and come home.
The Draganfly [sic] X8 is able to fly and hover while avoiding obstacles and land/perch on buildings to deliver
streaming and still imagery. The UAV must be small (backpack- able by soldier and for stealth), quiet (for
stealthy operation), able to hover (to acquire images and video) and have a payload of 1kg (to carry necessary
autonomy sensors and cameras).
Other UAV necessities to meet the objectives of the ARP 12pu program:
1. Ability to collapse to a single man-portable package (including ground station) that is light-weight to
facilitate dismounted operations.
2. Use a counter-rotating multi-rotor design to minimize noise and possible injuries to personnel or damage to the
aircraft from rotor strikes. (Smaller rotors with lower wing- tip speeds)
3. Use of multiple rotors and motors that allow the rotorcraft to fly and land safely in the event of rotor
damage or motor failure.
4. Have an unloaded (i.e. 0 gram payload) endurance of at least 20 minutes.
5. Have position hold capability. Once assigned a GPS position hold waypoint, the vehicle will maintain this
position without operator assistance.
6. Maintenance free operation [,] no tuning is required to prepare rotorcraft for flight.
Estimated Cost: $40,000
Required Delivery Date: March 31, 2011 [...]