Europe’s first purpose-built center for UAV research activities has opened in Spain. Known as Atlas (air traffic laboratory for advanced unmanned systems), the facility was officially opened on March 21 by the president of Andalucía, Susana Díaz, whose regional government has funded much of the €4.5 million implementation of the project from EU allocations. Additional funding has come from national government, and the site has been developed in close cooperation with potential customers, such as Boeing.
On June 13, Todd Reichert and the AeroVelo team (mostly students at the University of Toronto) entered the history books, winning the American Helicopter Society’s Igor I. Sikorsky Human-Powered Helicopter Competition. The competition requires flying above three meters for at least one minute within a 10- by 10-meter space.
According to Unison Industries, its new dual direct spark ignition system (DDSI) successfully lit the Pratt & Whitney RL 10A-4-2 engine on the Lockheed Martin Atlas V Expendable Launch Vehicle’s Centaur upper stage. Launching from Cape Canaveral on August 21, the Centaur’s first RL 10A-4-2 main engine started after the separation of the first stage after just four-and-a-half minutes.