UV - Unmanned Vehicles

Leonardo’s SW-4 takes off solo

5th March 2018 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Leonardo’s SW-4 Solo optionally piloted helicopter (OPH) has successfully completed its maiden flight with no safety pilot onboard at Taranto-Grottaglie Airport in Italy, the company announced on 27 February. 

According to the company, the flight lasted for 45 minutes and all its systems performed as expected. Flight tests included remote engine start up and shut down with ground run, automatic take-off and landing, hovering out of ground effect and acceleration to forward flight.

The tests also included automatic way point navigation to and from the area of operation and simulation of a surveillance mission. During the flight, the aircraft reached an altitude of 1500ft and a speed of up to 60 knots.

Derived from the SW-4 helicopter, the Solo OPH is equipped with advanced systems and sensors and is designed to operate with or without a pilot on board.

Since December 2016, test campaigns have been carried out with a pilot onboard in order to verify the aircraft’s operational characteristics and validate flight procedures, in both normal and emergency conditions.

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