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Transcend Air Corporation announced advancing to the next phase of the AFWERX High-Speed Vertical Take-Off and Landing (HSVTOL) Concept Challenge, a crowdsourcing effort for the United States Air Force (USAF) and United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The company is one of 11 companies from more than 200 challenge entrants selected to receive market research investments aimed at advancing solutions that enable optimal agility in austere environments.
“High speed, VTOL, long range, and low operating costs are the four key drivers for our civil business model,” noted Transcend COO Peter Schmidt. “Those are the exact attributes USAF and USSOCOM need to rapidly field new runway-independent capabilities to meet evolving threats.”
Transcend has proposed a militarized derivative of its $3.5 million Vy 400 civil aircraft. The V-500 Catamount will be a Vy 400 upgraded with the GE T901 turboshaft engine and higher-speed props, resulting in a 500 mph / 435 kt / 805 kph cruise speed and a 720 mile / 625 nm / 1,157 km combat radius. The Catamount will take just 15 minutes to dash from a tanker to a personnel recovery point 100 nm away, which could increase aircrew recovery rates by up to 70%.
Transcend’s solution is envisioned as part of a broader HSVTOL conceptual framework that increases the trade space of speed, range, survivability, payload, size, and flexibility to carry out USAF and USSOCOM missions across the full spectrum of conflict and political scenarios. It emerged as a top-tier entrant in the HSVTOL Concept Challenge by meeting or exceeding rigorous evaluation criteria focused on technical merit, reliability, scalability, and other factors.