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Sky-Futures, Bristow look to un/manned future
Sky-Futures and Bristow Group have carried out interoperability testing with a helicopter and UAS, Sky-Futures announced on 27 March.
The work is being carried out as part of a collaborative effort to offer a complementary service of manned and unmanned operations, and to ensure that UAS and helicopters can operate safely in the same airspace.
The test flight saw a Bristow Sikorsky S-92 helicopter hover 500ft above ground, while a UAS flew towards the helicopter, maintaining a horizontal distance of 200ft away from the aircraft. The UAS was stepped up in 100ft increments to an altitude of 400ft above ground level. The S-92 pilots were able to monitor the position and altitude of the UAS on their iPad during the entire flight, without actual visual contact of the device.
Nick Rogers, Sky-Futures chief regulatory and training officer said: 'These interoperability trials provided valuable insight and learning for safe operations between manned and unmanned aircraft using electronic conspicuity technology.
'As specific categories of commercial unmanned operations develop, we expect this technology to become a pre-requisite. Future airspace must be interoperable and Sky-Futures will continue to work with its trusted partner, Bristow, and regulators globally to safely realise this future.'
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