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.
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
News and issues relating to civil and military unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) of all kinds and sizes, including those used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), combat (unmanned combat air vehicles, or UCAVs), law enforcement, research and other applications. Of particular focus is the FAA's planned integration of UAS into the U.S. national airspace system.
The final configuration of the Thales Watchkeeper UAV for the British Army is unveiled here, outside the Thales pavilion. Now that the critical design review is successfully accomplished, Thales is showing this intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) system to other potential customers.
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.
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.
Bental Industries, an Israel-based manufacturer of motion systems, is launching its hybrid engine for unmanned aerial vehicles here in Europe, having already introduced it to the U.S. market. Designed for mini to mid-size UAVs, the system combines the benefits of an electric motor and a fuel engine.
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.
Don’t be alarmed if you see some unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) going about their business in the skies over Switzerland. While authorities in the U.S. and the rest of Europe try to reconcile safety issues with a growing demand to allow UAVs to fly in civil airspace, Switzerland already has been proving the concept.
First-time Heli-Expo exhibitor Cybaero (Booth No. 150) is attracting a lot of attention with a tiny helicopter UAV powered by a rotary diesel engine. The Apid Vantage UAV has a removable nose for quick swapping of payloads, an electric tail rotor and three-blade rotor system.