Fully automatic autorotation demoed for Vector UAV autopilot
UAV Navigation has announced that it has demonstrated a fully-automatic autorotation capability for its Vector unmanned aircraft autopilot.
In collaboration with Alpha Unmanned Systems, tests were carried out without the intervention of external pilots, showing that a UAV can land safely in the event of an engine or tail rotor failure.
For manned helicopter pilots the ability to autorotate safely is a requirement of their training, and while there is no risk to the safety of onboard crew with unmanned helicopters, the ability to descend and land in a controlled way in the event of these problems can minimise or eliminate danger to people on the ground as well as damage to the UAV.
Vector is one of the few available autopilots to have a fully functional autorotation capability, UAV Navigation says, and this capability was developed as part of a requirement for a customer using an Enstrom 480B helicopter that was converted from a standard manned aircraft into a UAV in 2017.
The functionality has been further tested and demonstrated on other smaller UAVs, including a conventional configuration 2m rotor disc, piston-engined helicopter.
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