Aero Pack Incorporated RA98 Motor Retainer Selected for
General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Division Prowler RATO Pack
UAV = Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
RATO = Rocket Assist Take Off
STO = Short Take Off
UAV's are used for surveillance and reconnaissance missions primarily in military applications for the strategic advantage of obtaining real time geographic information on the positions of enemy troops, weapons systems, communications systems, etc. Several UAV's may be used at one time with back to back missions required for each UAV. In this scenario it is critical to have quick-turnaround capability between flights.
RATO packs are used when terrain demands STO launch. During refueling and other between-flight UAV procedures the RATO pack must also be overhauled.
Choice of RATO pack for overhaul in-the-field includes simple procedures for ease of removal and replacement and a minimum tools usage requirement.
Aero Pack Incorporated was selected for motor retention on the RATO pack used for STO launch of the Prowler UAV. The choice to use API was due to the Quick-Change Motor Retainer exceeding the requirements.
The following photos are courtesy of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Division:
RATO pack using Aero Pack's RA98 to hold an AeroTech™ motor.
Static test firing with the RA98 visible around the nozzle.
Prowler just lifting off from STO launch using RATO pack with AeroTech™ M2500 motor and Aero Pack RA98 retainer.
Latest version "Prowler II" in flight with Aero Pack equipped RATO pack.
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