IYK-based developer earns new patent

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

IYK-based  developer earns  new patentAn Inyokern Airport tenant who has made headlines for his world records and defense contracts is back in the news for his development of an affordable cargo-delivery drone.

“Having Chip Yates out at the airport means something exciting is always going on out here,” said airport manager Scott Seymour.

Just a few months after announcing Yates Electrospace Corporation’s Silent Arrow contract with the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory to produce 10 aircraft, Yates revealed earlier this month that he has also secured a patent for a development of an inexpensive and disposable glider that can deliver up to 700 pounds of cargo.

“Now we have two products – a glider for the Marines and the powered version with an electric motor that our other clients want,” said Yates.

The GD-700 Silent Arrow can deliver payloads from a distance of nearly 50 miles when air-launched from an altitude of up to 25,000 feet.

The California-based entrepreneur first came to Inyokern in 2012 to build and test his Long EZ, modified for an electric engine. He subsequently set a total of 10 records for speed and altitude in an electric aircraft.

Since then his groundbreaking work in electric capabilities has expanded to his current focus in finding a way to develop and build safe, affordable, autonomous delivery systems.

Yates said his research and development group filed the patent four years ago, “before drone delivery was the hot topic it is today — which underscores our longstanding excitement and vision for an electric, connected future.”

The applications for cargo delivery, he said, are “limited only by the imagination.”

He said that about 50 percent of the development is being conducted by local experts — including a high-level aerospace engineer, a flight-test engineer and an engineering technician — out of his hangar at IYK.

“Where we do the manufacturing is to be determined,” he said. “We have companies that want thousands of these, so we are exploring our options.”

“The longterm potential for jobs and growth — not just at the airport, but in our valley — is what excites me most about this project,” said Seymour. “The technology is interesting and I want to do everything I can to keep the future development tied to our valley.”

The system was recently featured in the “Space & Technology” section of Aviation Week. For more information visit https://yateselectrospace.com/.

Pictured: Inventor-entrepreneur Chip Yates, who first gained renown locally for setting world records at IYK. — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2018-03-30