UK flight test sees largest unmanned aircraft take off from a Royal Navy aircraft carrier.
Diamond DA42 ANGEL-EYE flies unmanned
Diamond Aircraft, a leading manufacturer of all composite certified general aviation aircraft, and Aeronautics, a primary global provider of security consulting services and defense applications, have teamed up to develop the DA42 based Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) "ANGEL-EYE".
The aircraft has been flying successfully in system test and performance trials and is currently subject of extensive long term reliability and durability flight testing.
The aircraft was developed in only 14 months, based on the existing production DA42 and proven systems technology from Aeronautics.
The DA42 is a fully certified civilian aircraft, with over 640 units produced since 2005 and over 360,000 hrs of accumulated operating experience, including high utilization flight training in high ambient temperature conditions.
The award winning DA42 features all carbon composite fail-safe and damage tolerant airframe, twin proprietary jet-fuel burning turbo-diesel piston powerplants, certified known ice protection system, and retractable undercarriage.
The DA42 MPP manned sensor platform version of the DA42 has earned a reputation for its fuel efficiency, high density altitude performance, long endurance, high payload capability, low operating costs, and low noise signature.
As a derivative of a fully certified aircraft, designed to the latest design standards, ANGEL-EYE already exceeds the proposed FAR 23 equivalent UAV design standards, currently under development.
Modified for the UAV application, ANGEL-EYE will have endurance exceeding 27 hours, low loiter speeds of 80 kts, high speed cruise of 180 kts and range exceeding 4600 km.
As a production aircraft derivative, ANGEL-EYE will benefit from series production efficiencies to offer a cost-effective airframe solution. Planned production rate is 100 units annually, scaleable based on demand.
A production location for ANGEL-EYE has not yet been selected, although Diamond's Canadian London, Ontario operation is a possibility.
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