Elbit has chosen the Paris Air Show to unveil its latest unmanned air vehicle design–the Hermes 900. Pitched as a tactical medium-altitude long-endurance vehicle, the yet-to-fly Hermes 900 fits neatly in size between the company’s Hermes 450 and the larger twin-engine Hermes 1500.
The number of unmanned air vehicles in our skies is growing fast, but there are many regulatory and doctrinal issues to resolve, before UAVs and their ground and underwater-based cousins will operate routinely.
Boeing has revealed a surprise and innovative entry for the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) competition. While two rival bids use High-Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Boeing is adapting the Gulfstream G550 business jet to fly the mission manned or unmanned.
French-based Flying Robots is here showing an unusual unmanned air vehicle (UAV) that looks like a paraglider with a powered payload. According to company president Michel Lallement, the FR101 is a low-cost alternative to conventional drones.
The U.S. military is preparing to deploy a small number of unmanned “micro air vehicles” in Iraq in an effort to stem the damage caused by roadside bombs.
Built by Honeywell using ducted-fan technology, each MAV is small enough to fit in a backpack and can be used by soldiers with minimal training. It normally flies between 10 and 500 feet and relays video back to a handheld terminal.
By the time the U.S. Air Force took delivery of its 120th Predator unmanned air vehicle, nearly half of them (56) had been destroyed–some to enemy fire, but most to accidents. No pilots were harmed in the making of this statistic, of course. But at $4 million per Predator, that’s $224 million, a cost that cannot be ignored. And other UAVs have had similar problems.
In May L-3 Link Simulation and Training division delivered the first five of seven Predator Mission Aircraft Training Systems (PMATS) to the U.S. Air Force’s main UAV center at Creech AFB, Indian Springs, Nevada. PMATS provides Predator pilots and systems operators with fully immersive, mission-based training and is the first high-fidelity training system for UAVs to be adopted by the USAF.
Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology is arguably the fastest growing aspect of present-day aviation. Unmanned combat aerial vehicles are revolutionizing the conduct of military operations, and some law enforcement, border security and other civil activities are being undertaken by UAVs as well. Very small hand-launched models are aiding soldiers, while police and firemen will soon be able to search inside buildings where danger lurks.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has recently published for comment a roadmap for the routine operation of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in U.S. national airspace.
For developers of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), combining sufficient speed, a high payload, maneuverability, low fuel consumption, high endurance and minimum takeoff and landing distances is a dream scenario. Italian company Nimbus is trying to make this proposition a reality with its Metaplane.