UAV Airbus Helicopters VSR700 flies unmanned for the first time

  • Airbus

Airbus Helicopters has released, that its VSR700 helicopter has performed its first unmanned flight.

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A fully unmanned autonomous flight has been performed at a military airbase in the south of France. With the flight, Airbus seeks to establish compliance with safety systems and regulations to secure the future of unmanned flights in France.

During the flight time of 30 minutes, the VSR700 executed a variety of flight patterns before landing in the autonomous mode. Controlled was the aircraft from the ground station that is located at the base.

Airbus Helicopter´s VSR700 has been flying autonomously since May 2017 with a safety pilot on board. Over the years, Airbus has developed the engine of the aircraft to meet new regulatory standards and to fulfil the requirements of its customers.

The manufacturer said, that 2019 will see the rollout of the prototype. The operational capability will be verified by Airbus until then. This unmanned flight shows the process and commitment from Airbus.

As light tactical unmanned aerial system, the VSR700 can fly for around 8 hours at 100nm. It can carry multiple payloads and furthermore offers surveillance capabilities for navies. If needed, the operator can use the helicopter with a pilot on board during critical missions. Low operational costs confirm the good performance of the vehicle.

Airbus Helicopters confirmed: "Users will benefit from the system’s low operational cost thanks to its proven civil certified Cabri G2 platform and its low consumption diesel engine. The ideal size, it is designed to complement manned helicopters, without replacing them, on ships ranging from small corvettes to major warships."

The manufacturer hopes to deliver the first VSR700 in this year.

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