Air transport industry groups accept the inevitability of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) flying in civil airspace. At the largest event of the unmanned systems industry earlier this month, speakers representing airline pilots and FAA air traffic controllers delivered a go-safely message to UAS proponents eager to gain access to the national airspace system to build the industry.
Unmanned Aircraft System
The U.S. Army will mount the largest yet demonstration of manned and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) interoperability.
The U.S. Army and Navy will coordinate their requirements for a future unmanned medium-range helicopter, officials said at the Unmanned Systems North America conference last week in Washington, D.C. Such has been the interest in unmanned VTOL systems that programs and requirements seem to have proliferated, leading to potentially duplicative and costly developments.
"Surges" of Puma and Raven small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) are boosting U.S. Army operations in Afghanistan. Responding to an urgent operational requirement there, the Army has ordered 180 new Puma systems to protect route clearance patrols from IEDs. This follows earlier urgent requirements for the two aircraft, manufactured by AeroVironment, of Monrovia, Calif.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency is displaying the Guardian, a maritime variant of the MQ-9 Predator B unmanned aircraft system (UAS) at the Paris Air Show.
Boeing’s Phantom Works has taken a number of important strides toward flying the Phantom Eye high-altitude long-endurance unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The first vehicle has just completed 12 days of ground vibration and structural mode interaction tests at the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California. It has also had its fuel tanks filled for the first time.
Sweden became the first export customer for the Textron/AAI Shadow 200 tactical unmanned aircraft system when a contract for two Shadow systems was finally completed on May 18. The contract was to be signed in 2008, but was deferred due to budgetary problems.
As part of a concerted drive to increase the number of unmanned aircraft displays at the Farnborough show, organizers have installed a special netted area in Hall Three where exhibitors are flying small unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
The FAA will be studying how to integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System through a cooperative research and development agreement it forged last month with Boeing subsidiary Insitu. This partnership will enable further study of how unmanned aircraft operate and help the industry move closer to a sense-and-avoid solution.
Israel’s Elbit Systems has announced an agreement between its U.S.-based subsidiary and General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products to develop unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for the U.S. Department of Defense and other U.S. government customers. The cooperative venture known as UAS Dynamics and based in Fort Mill, South Carolina, will produce aircraft for programs such as the U.S.
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