Hood Tech Mechanical develops and produces launch systems for unmanned aircraft systems (UASs). The launchers have been used for more than 40,000 launches in support of military and civilian operations worldwide. The current state-of-the-art launch systems – the Superwedge HP and the Mark 4 – form the core of Hood Tech’s launch products. Both were developed by Hood Tech Mechanical and are currently manufactured by the same.
Hood Tech Mechanical’s launchers are mobile, versatile and built for harsh environments. For example, a UAV that lacks any hard points for launching purposes may engage the launcher via patented gripper system adapted to both Superwedge HP and Mark 4 launch systems. The gripper gently secures the fragile airframe to the launcher for acceleration, and then it releases without altering the launch trajectory or attitude of the aircraft. For aircraft with under-wing engagement means, a different type of carriage is used. The user simply chooses the appropriate carriage and adjusts the launch pressure accordingly. Specialized attachment methods can be retrofit to any of Hood Tech’s launchers for a variety of unmanned aircraft.
A patented gripper system securely holds the wing and body of composite aircraft.
The Mark 4 is the latest of Hood Tech Mechanical's launch systems, developed to accommodate the need for multiple aircraft types. As with Superwedge HP, the Mark 4 makes use of composite and metallic materials, practical engineering, and proven assembly techniques to provide users with a rugged machine built for harsh environments
|Mark 4 Specifications|
|Launch Energy, kJ||56|
|Max speed, m/s||32|
|Max launch pressure, psig (bar)||3000 (204)|
|Overall dimensions, feet (m) L x W x H deployed||21 x 3 x 5 (6.4 x 0.9 x 1.5)|
|Overall dimensions, feet (m) L x W x H packed-out||14 x 3 x 5 (4.3 x 0.9 x 1.5)|
|Compressor type||Gas, diesel or electric, 9 SCFM typical|
|Typical fill time (varies somewhat, depending on aircraft mass, headwind, etc.)||Approx. 15 minutes|
|Endures salt spray and other harsh environments||Yes|
|Engine cooling system||10 A, 3PH 208VAC blower with variable frequency drive and auto-retract|