Yates returns to IYK to develop Silent Arrow contract

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Yates returns  to IYK to  develop  Silent Arrow  contractThe entrepreneur who made headlines in 2012-13 at Inyokern Airport for his groundbreaking records for speed and altitude in an electric airplane is back at IYK to develop his unmanned aerial system.

Chip Yates, CEO of Yates Electrospace Corp., announced earlier this week that Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory has selected his company’s Silent Arrow product line of autonomous cargo aircraft for a 12-month flight-test program.

Under the contract, YEC engineers and test pilots will build and test-fly a fleet of 10 aircraft.

The performance criteria include the ability to autonomously deliver 700 pounds of life-saving supplies and cargo anywhere in the world (within 150 feet) by a single-use, low-cost, disposable glider aircraft.

Yates hopes the Silent Arrow unmanned aerial system will reduce current resupply costs by an order of magnitude without compromising the position of aircraft being resupplied through nose or the need to recover or retain the delivery platform.

“We are honored to join MCWL in their efforts to save lives while drastically reducing delivery costs for critical resupply missions with our high-lift delivery drone.”

Hailed by Bloomberg News as “half Elon Musk, half Evel Knievel,” Yates was first pilot in history to break the speed record of 200 miles per hour in an electric aircraft — the first of many records he would set at IYK. Since then he has secured numerous patents and focused his time in industry developing new capabilities for electric and autonomous systems.

“Everybody is excited to have Chip back at Inyokern,” said IYK General Manager Scott Seymour. “Most people don’t know that he never really left.

“I’ve been working on this with him for two years. Our longterm goal is to bring jobs to the airport … if this goes into production, that could be anywhere from 20 to 60 new jobs in the valley.”

Story First Published: 2017-11-17