UV - Unmanned Vehicles

First test flights conducted for NBEC

14th February 2019 - 08:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Cranfield University and Blue Bear Systems Research have successfully conducted the first test flights to establish the principles for the National Beyond visual line of sight Experimentation Corridor (NBEC) at Cranfield Airport.

The NBEC aims to create an experimentation corridor that will enable UAS to fly in the same airspace as manned aircraft.

During the test flights, Blue Bear executed 3km extended visual line of sight (EVLOS) race track flights within the Cranfield Air Traffic Zone, using its Blackstart UAS. During this first phase of testing, the Cranfield Air Traffic Zone was cleared of manned aircraft.

NBEC will provide a safe, managed environment for UAS experimentation which will work towards their integration into controlled and uncontrolled airspace.  The aim is to see the corridor eventually stretch across Bedfordshire from Blue Bear’s headquarters in Oakley to Cranfield University's airport.  

When fully operational, the NBEC will be operated with Blue Bear and Cranfield using their respective systems and will create an environment that will allow other companies to come and test their Unified Traffic Management concepts in a safe, managed environment.

Workup flights will continue at both ends of the NBEC Corridor throughout 2019.

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