Plano Aviation Manufacturer Unveils Latest Unmanned Aircraft System With More Power and Small Footprint

Martin UAV pushes tech boundaries in unmanned aircraft systems for defense and commercial use. The V-BAT 128, which has increased power, payload, and endurance, takes only 30 minutes for two people to assemble. It can be transported in a bed of pickup or inside a Black Hawk.

Leading advanced aviation manufacturer Martin UAV recently announced its newest unmanned aircraft system, V-BAT 128.

This upgraded version of the V-BAT will be available for defense and private-sector applications, such as search and rescue, firefighting, logistic resupply, energy, and oil and gas operations. 

Martin UAV, based in Plano, specializes in building unmanned aircraft systems and associated flight control software. 

Heath Niemi, chief development officer of Martin UAV, said in a statement that Martin UAV listened to their customers and expanded the capabilities and agility of the V-BAT 128 so it could serve a wider range of mission needs. 

“We’re proud to make the V-BAT 128 available to the broader market and to provide more power and payload that can be transported in the bed of a pick-up truck, or, inside a Black Hawk,” Niemi said. 

Over the course of several weeks, the V-BAT 128 demonstrated its small VTOL footprint to launch, transport, and operate. The V-BAT is ideal for take-off and landing in footprints of less than 12×12 feet on both stationary or moving platforms, according to a statement.

For instance, despite difficult terrain, the V-BAT can transition from take-off to a vertical hover and persistent stare capability while maintaining a sensor light of site. 

Per a statement, some of the V-BAT 128’s upgrades to the engine include:

  • Increased horsepower
  • Increased endurance up to eleven hours
  • Higher ceiling (20,000 ‘MSL)
  • Interchangeable payloads 


The V-BAT 128 was designed for easy and rapid tactical deployment for both commercial and defense applications. The V-BAT’s duct fan propulsion was designed without exposed rotors to promote operational safety.

And, it takes only 30 minutes for two people to assemble the aircraft.

In response to an increased demand for unmanned aerial vehicles and unmanned aircraft systems in the commercial sector, Martin UAV appointed Bill Irby as its chief operating officer to accelerate its growth into the commercial and defense sector. Irby previously held leadership positions at Textron, L3 Harris, and Northrop Grumman.

“As we move aggressively into new opportunities, expanded leadership appointments will propel us into territory once believed unattainable,” Martin Ruben, CEO of Martin UAV, said in a statement.“We are accelerating into new areas faster than ever deemed possible and Bill will be an integral part of our future plans for expansion.”

The V-BAT 128 was recently showcased at the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment in February.

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