Aeromet's AURA : the father of all modern UAVs


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25 June 2009
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The unsung ancestor to all modern UAVs was the Aeromet AURA, the first auto-landing, remotely-piloted vehicle ever produced. It was developed by Aeromet, a 30-year old company specialized in special mission aircraft, optical measurements, and atmospheric sciences.

In 1986, the Air Force Ballistic Missile Organization (BMO) sought an aircraft capable of operating in the re-entry corridor (hazard area) during missile tests. Aeromet Inc. of Tulsa, Oklahoma, converted two Cozy Mark IV canard aircraft (patterned after Burt Rutan’s Long-EZ canard design) into a remotely controlled version for use with the US military, dubbing it the Autonomous Unmanned Reconnaissance Aircraft (or AURA in short) in answer to this request.

If you want to read more on this little-known aircraft, make sure to visit my revised page on the subject. It features a lot more information and also a photo that has never been shown elsewhere!

Choose the Vari-Eze/Long-EZ menu > Military variants. You will also find two new pages in the same section: one on India's LCRA (a Long-EZ that served to develop all current UAV and aircraft programs in that country) that has three pictures (again, very seldom seen) and one on the Rustom UAV program that stems from it.

Any feedback is of course most welcome!

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