Video showing AT Black Knight Transformer's first flight released

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Snapshot from aerial footage of the aircraft in hover filmed by a quadcopter drone

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Advanced Tactics Inc. has now received permission from the US government to release video footage showing the first test flight of its Black Knight Transformer prototype demonstrator.

In the Black Knight Transformer, Advanced Tactics Inc. (AT) has given an off-road vehicle helicopter capabilities, allowing it to take off and land just about anywhere. The claimed features and advantages of the Transformer technology are outlined in the image below.

In the first driving and flying test at an undisclosed private location in Southern California, the Transformer made multiple short hover flights at an altitude that was limited to a fraction of what it's capable of for safety reasons. The autopilot handled the Transformer's stability and attitude, with power controlled by a (human) remote backup pilot.

The company is currently developing an autonomous modular version of the vehicle, which will be capable of delivering detachable cargo pods of up to 3,500 lb (1,600 kg) payloads. It's being designed to reach speeds of up to 200 knots TAS and able to hover for more than 19 hours carrying a 150 lb (70 kg) Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance pod. The ground drivetrain could also be swapped out for an amphibious boat hull.

AT reports that the Transformer "was stable, controllable, and performed as expected." But you can see that for yourselves in the video below. The company is now looking for investors in the program, as well as government customers in the US and beyond.

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