DZYNE Technologies Advances Cutting Edge Delivery Drone in DARPA Project

Ghost glider demonstration showcases potential for vanishing airplanes


TUCSON, AZ, October 12, 2017 — DZYNE Technologies is breaking ground in autonomous Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) cargo delivery, with its involvement in the Inbound, Controlled, Air-Releasable, Unrecoverable Systems (ICARUS) Program.

Using its Ghost expendable glider, DZYNE flight testing recently proved aerodynamics and controls necessary for autonomous delivery of a small, three-pound payload.

Developed under contract through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) ICARUS program, Ghost is a small, robotic cargo glider that will allow precision supply drops for those in the field. Currently, supply to small military or civilian teams in difficult-to-access territory requires large, parachute-based systems that must be carried out or otherwise disposed of, for operational security and environmental concerns. It can be challenging to get a parachute-based system to deliver cargo precisely in an area surrounded by trees or buildings.  The Ghost air vehicle uses a novel air vehicle design and flight control methodology to eliminate these challenges.  

The ICARUS program aims to develop supply systems that vanish after completing their missions. This technology will ultimately have great impact in areas where leaving behind materials would have environmental and/or unintended logistical consequences.

The Ghost demonstration took place July 17-19, and featured gliders built from a non-vanishing material that mimics the physical properties of vanishing materials. The gliders were dropped from balloons to conduct 15-mile, cross-country flights, ending with a steep, precision-guided approach to a defined target.

“The successful flight testing of the Ghost air vehicle demonstrates DZYNE Technologies’ exceptional capability in designing a purpose-built unmanned aircraft to fulfill a challenging mission profile,” said Darrell Gillette, DZYNE Technologies CEO. 

Patrick Wright, Ghost Program Manager, remarked, “This is exciting for DZYNE because Ghost becomes the starting point for a whole family of autonomous cargo delivery systems.”

DZYNE is developing manufacturing processes that will allow Ghost gliders to be built using the vanishing structural materials developed under the DARPA Vanishing Programmable Resources program (VAPR).


DZYNE Technologies Incorporated (DZYNE) is a developer of smart systems, including manned and unmanned vehicles and analytic systems. DZYNE’s world-class team employs state-of-the-art design methodologies and production processes that result in highly efficient systems developed on very compressed timelines. DZYNE is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona with three divisions: the Vehicle DZYNE Studio in Irvine, California, DZYNE Analytic Systems in Fairfax, Virginia, and DZYNE Technical Services in Tucson, Arizona.

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