The Airbus VSR700 demonstrator helicopter
completed a fully unmanned autonomous flight at the military airbase
in Istres in the south of France, this week.
The purpose of the flight was to
establish compliance with the demanding regulatory and safety
systems necessary for future unmanned flight in France.
exercise the demonstrator performed a 30-minute flight
successfully executing a variety of flight patterns before landing
in an autonomous mode.
The unmanned air vehicle was piloted and
monitored from the ground station located at the base.
VSR700 demonstrator has been flying autonomously since May 2017
with a safety pilot as part of its development programme. The
diesel engine installed to meet naval and military requirements
has been fine tuned during this period and the automatic flight
control systems have been developed to meet the new regulatory
standards. This new critical operational capability is pursuing
its development plan and 2019 will see the rollout of the
The VSR700 is a light military tactical unmanned
aerial system able to carry multiple payloads, with an endurance
of around 8 hours at 100 NM. The system will initially offer
extended surveillance capabilities for navies, allowing them to
preserve manned helicopter flights for critical missions.
will benefit from the systemís low operational cost thanks to its
proven civil certified Cabri G2 platform and its low consumption
The size, it is designed to complement manned
helicopters, without replacing them, on ships ranging from small
corvettes to major warships.