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UAS

Boeing Phantom Ray UAS takes off on its maiden flight (Photo: Boeing)

Boeing has successfully kicked-off its test flight program for the Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system (UAS). The fighter-sized technology demonstrator reached an altitude of 7,500 feet and a speed of 178 knots in its first flight on April 27 in the skies above NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California. A second successful test flight followed on May 5.  Read More

The Firebird was designed to be flown either manned or unmanned

Although the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) such as Global Hawk and Raven for military information gathering has increased sharply in the last decade due to the maturation and miniaturization of enabling technologies, conventional piloted aircraft can still be a better option depending on the mission at hand. Northrop Grumman has unveiled a new intelligence gathering aircraft called the Firebird that falls into the category of an Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) with its ability to be flown robotically or with a human pilot on board.  Read More

The Global Observer before its maiden flight in August 2010

In a setback for AeroVironment's four-year demonstrator program, the first Global Observer unmanned aircraft system has crashed during flight-testing. AeroVironment has confirmed the "mishap" occurred at 2:30 am PDT on April 1st, approximately 18 hours into its ninth test flight at Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California.  Read More

K-MAX unmanned helicopter sets payload record (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

The Unmanned K-MAX helicopter being developed by Kaman Corporation and Lockheed Martin has further demonstrated the potential of this type of aircraft in the field by completing a list of airdrop firsts. The milestones in payload weight and altitude were reached during a recent series of tests at the Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona where the KMAX (UAS) made guided airdrops via sling load at an altitude of 10,000 ft above sea level including a payload of 4,400 lbs.  Read More

The pint-sized, lightweight Nano Hummingbird

AeroVironment, the California-based company behind the largest, highest and longest flying unmanned aircraft system (UAS), the Global Observer, has now achieved a remarkable technical milestone with a much smaller aircraft. With its "Nano Hummingbird" the company has for the first time achieved controlled precision hovering and fast-forward flight of a two-wing, flapping wing aircraft that carries its own energy source and relies only on its flapping wings for propulsion and control.  Read More

Skylark I UAV from Elbit Systems flies on AEROPAK fuel cell power in simulated battlefield...

The latest test of Horizon Energy System's AEROPAK fuel cell power system has seen it fitted aboard an Elbit Systems Skylark I-LE UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) and put through its paces. Although the AEROPAK has been put to the test in other UAS aircraft, the official test flight recently carried out in Israel marked the first time a fully operational system using the AEROPAK - including take-off and recovery with an operational payload integrated onboard - has been tested.  Read More

An integration exercise will feature Apache helicopter pilots controlling Shadow (pictured...

The U.S. Army is planning the largest ever demonstration of its Manned Unmanned Systems Integration Concept (MUSIC). The technology, which we first covered back in 2006, allows pilots to control the payload of a nearby Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) from the cockpit of an Apache Attack helicopter. The demonstration to be held at Dougway Proving Ground, Utah, is aimed at analyzing the progress of evolving manned-unmanned teaming technologies and will showcase level-4 UAS interoperability, which includes the ability to control the payload and view feeds from UAS systems in real-time from the cockpit.  Read More

QinetiQ Zephyr on final approach for world record

QinetiQ has filed for three world records for Zephyr, its solar powered high-altitude long endurance (HALE) Unmanned Air System (UAS), with the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) – the world governing body for air sports, aeronautics and astronautics world records. The three records subject to ratification are the absolute duration record for an Unmanned Air Vehicle, the duration record for a UAV in the U/1.c / 50-500Kg category and the absolute altitude record for a UAV in that category of 70,740ft (21,561m).  Read More

Global Observer takes to the air for the first time

After AeroVironment’s recent announcement that its Global Observer unmanned aircraft system (UAS) had successfully completed a series of Wing Load tests the team apparently wasted no time getting the craft in the air for its maiden flight. On August 5 Global Observer 1001 took off from Edwards Air Force Base (EAFB) in California and climbed to an altitude of 4,000 feet where it performed a series of maneuvers before landing successfully one hour later.  Read More

Global Observe has completed a series of Wing Load Tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research ...

AeroVironment has passed a critical milestone in the development of its Global Observer unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The company reports that the High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) aircraft has completed a series of Wing Load Tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center – proving that the aircraft's all-composite 175-foot wing can withstand the level of dynamic stress it will be subjected to at altitudes of between 55,000 and 65,000 feet.  Read More

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