Latest Airborne Technologies News
Jun 21, 2017
by Chris Pocock - June 21, 2017, 4:51 AM Bulgarian company LASA Engineering (static display A6) is showing a Thrush 510G cropdusting airplane converted for ISR and armed counter-insurgency missions. LASA says that its product—named the T-Bird—provides “an efficient solution to new asymmetric engagement challenges.” It offers the heaviest payload and the longest endurance in its class, according to the company. L3 is also displaying such a conversion, but one based on the rival Air Tractor agplane (see AIN Paris Airshow News, Tuesday, page 8). LASA's display is situated alongside Airborne Technologies, the Austrian company that has specialized in converting small-to-medium-size aircraft and helicopters for ISR missions. Airborne’s Self Contained Aerial Reconnaissance (SCAR) pod is carried by the T-Bird. According to a well-sourced article published 14 months ago on The Intercept website, LASA weaponized two Thrush 510Gs for Airborne to avoid Austrian export laws. The same article states that U.S. citizen Erik Prince owns more than 25 percent of Airborne Technologies. Prince founded Blackwater, the company that controversially provided private security services in Afghanistan and Iraq.