Unmanned aerial vehicle

November 18, 2013 - 10:55am

Piaggio Aero and Selex ES revealed here yesterday that the first flight of the P.1HH HammerHead Demo unmanned aircraft system (UAS) technology demonstrator took place on November 14 at Trapani air force base in Italy.

The demonstrator took off at 110 knots rotation speed and flew over the Mediterranean Sea for approximately 12 minutes while being remotely piloted from a ground-control station. The flight was conducted with the aircraft in mid-flap configuration, with landing gear extended, with it reaching an altitude of 2,000 feet and a speed of 170 knots.

November 17, 2013 - 7:30am
One artist’s concept depicts a future cargo UAV, which is projected as one use for unmanned aircraft in commercial air transportation.

Two UK airports announced earlier this year the creation of a National Aeronautical Centre (NAC) for the testing of unmanned aerial systems (UAS), the first such nongovernment venture in Europe. West Wales Airport at Aberporth and Newquay Airport in Cornwall, southwest England, have linked up to jointly offer to UAS developers (Unmanned Vehicles area, Stand 645) their facilities and runways, along with access to large offshore testing areas.

November 12, 2013 - 2:15pm

The FAA released its first five-year unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) “roadmap” on Friday, providing guidance on how the agency intends to introduce remotely piloted aircraft into the National Airspace System. The document describes the expected transition in standards, regulations, aircraft certification, training requirements and technology over broad periods of “accommodation, integration” and “evolution” through 2026.

November 11, 2013 - 1:40pm

The FAA last week released its roadmap outlining current and future policies, regulations, technologies and procedures that will be required as demand increases to safely integrate unmanned aerial vehicles into civil airspace. The roadmap details items such as new or revised regulations, policies, procedures, guidance material, training and understanding of systems and operations to support routine unmanned aircraft operations.

November 8, 2013 - 10:15am

Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy conducted the first flight of the MQ-8C Fire Scout on October 31. The unmanned helicopter, which is based on the Bell 407, flew twice that day at the Point Mugu range at Naval Base Ventura County, Calif.

On the first flight in restricted airspace, the MQ-8C flew in a pattern around the airfield for seven minutes to validate autonomous control systems; on the second flight, it reached an altitude of 500 feet while flying in a pattern. The aircraft was operated by a combined Navy/Northrop Grumman flight-test team located at the naval base.

November 7, 2013 - 4:32pm

The Federal Aviation Administration released a privacy policy on Thursday that will apply to the operators of six national test ranges for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) the agency plans to select by the end of the year.

October 31, 2013 - 11:30am

Flight trials of the BAE Systems Taranis UCAS technology demonstrator have started at the Woomera test range in South Australia. But neither the company nor its customer, the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has made any announcement. The news emerged from a policy document on military UAS that the MoD submitted to the defense committee of the UK parliament.

October 25, 2013 - 10:45am

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) said that an improved version of the Gray Eagle UAV flew for 45.3 hours on a demonstration flight earlier this month. The Gray Eagle was developed for the U.S. Army from the Predator UAS. The Improved Gray Eagle is a higher-power, higher-mtow version that GA-ASI developed using company funds, although the U.S. Army paid for the demo flight, the first of two planned by the end of the year.

October 23, 2013 - 8:47pm
Boeing Insitu ScanEagle UAS

ConocoPhillips’ use of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) for commercial purposes in remote Arctic airspace—an historic first—has not been perfect. The energy company confirmed that an Insitu ScanEagle it is using for airborne surveillance of the Chukchi Sea west of Alaska crashed on a second test flight. The aircraft’s first flight from the research vessel Westward Wind took place on September 12.

October 22, 2013 - 1:00am
The Insitu ScanEagle received an FAA Part 21.25 restricted category type certificate on July 19, permitting operators to use it for commercial purposes.

Slowly but surely, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are entering the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS) despite a regulatory regime that was previously considered prohibitive to all but government agencies and research institutions. Unmanned aircraft have flown for the first time commercially in remote Arctic airspace, and companies are considering or have already begun the process of obtaining FAA airworthiness certification of their UAS designs.

 
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