News Release

Collins Aerospace’s Piccolo Elite UAS autopilot solution gets massive boost in speed and processing capacity

  • Next-generation solution increases longevity, ease of support and integration capabilities
  • Offers hardware-independent software for open architecture implementations
  • Builds on previous generation track record with over 1 million flight hours across multiple U.S. Department of Defense and commercial customers

CHICAGO (April 30, 2019) – Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), has launched a next-generation Piccolo Elite autopilot featuring advanced sensors, powerful processing upgrades and a new separated lift thrust take-off and landing (VTOL) controller for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). The new Piccolo Elite system is being showcased at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) Xponential, April 30 – May 2, 2019 at booth

“The Piccolo Elite upgrade will provide customers with a huge increase in processing power, longer hardware lifespan, easier support and more integration options to meet both government and commercial UAV needs well into the future,” said Matt Lendway, site general manager, Piccolo Autopilots and TASE Imaging Systems for Collins Aerospace.

The Piccolo flight management system, developed in the company’s Hood River, Oregon facility, consists of an air vehicle autopilot, a ground station, a simulation environment and operator interface software, supporting fully autonomous flight operations for small UAVs. This next iteration of Piccolo technology adopts a more open architecture that allows the system to be deployed in any type of qualified hardware environment, helping to reduce cost and allow for easier support and implementation onto more platforms.

The Piccolo family of systems have operated in over one million flight hours on a variety of UAV platforms such as the Arcturus UAV Jump 20 and T-20, Textron Systems Aerosonde® Small Unmanned Aircraft System, Griffon Aerospace Outlaw, Navmar Applied Sciences Corporation TigerShark, PAE ISR Resolute Eagle and others operated by multiple U.S. Department of Defense and commercial customers

About Collins Aerospace
Collins Aerospace Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), is a leader in technologically advanced and intelligent solutions for the global aerospace and defense industry. Created in 2018 by bringing together UTC Aerospace Systems and Rockwell Collins, Collins Aerospace has the capabilities, comprehensive portfolio and expertise to solve customers’ toughest challenges and to meet the demands of a rapidly evolving global market. For more information, visit

About United Technologies Corporation
United Technologies Corp., based in Farmington, Connecticut, provides high-technology systems and services to the building and aerospace industries. By combining a passion for science with precision engineering, the company is creating smart, sustainable solutions the world needs. For more information about the company, visit our website at or follow us on Twitter: @UTC.

*AEROSONDE is a trademark of AAI Corporation, registered in the U.S. and other countries.

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