Airbus Helicopters has successfully demonstrated the first flight of its Skyways UAV at the National University of Singapore, the company announced on 8 February.
During the demonstration, the UAV flew from its maintenance centre and landed on the roof of a specifically designed parcel station where a parcel was automatically loaded via a robotic arm. The UAV took off again from the roof after loading the parcel and returned to land, demonstrating its automatic unloading capability.
Airbus Helicopters’ Skyways project is at an advanced R&D stage and progressing well, with the equipment and facilities installed at the NUS campus. Several tests are already under way and the system will be demonstrated in the university when the trial service will commence this year.
With the Skyways UAV, the campus students and staff will be able deliver small parcels between 2kg and 4kg to designated parcel stations within the campus, which is the size of 150 football fields.
This flight demonstration follows the launch of an experimental project with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in February 2016 to develop an urban UAS to facilitate the safety, efficiency and sustainability of the air delivery business in cities such as Singapore.
Kevin Shum, Director-General of the CAAS, said: ‘The Skyways project is an important innovation for the aviation industry. CAAS has been working closely with Airbus on the project, with an emphasis on co-developing systems and rules to ensure that such aircraft can operate in an urban environment safely and optimally.'
Shum continued, ‘For Singapore, this project will help to develop innovative rules to support the development of the unmanned aircraft industry in Singapore. We are pleased with the good progress that Skyways is making and look forward to deepening our partnership with Airbus.’