Shadow UAV completes GE Flight FMS demo
AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems, an operating unit of Textron Systems, a Textron Inc. company, and GE Aviation announced today that the Shadow Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (TUAS) has completed a flight demonstration using the GE Flight Management System (FMS), a four-dimensional trajectory FMS certified for use with manned commercial aircraft. The demonstration took place at the Hatch Airport in Hatch, N.M., in cooperation with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the US Army and the New Mexico State University Flight Test Center.
Following a demonstration in 2009, continuing integration and simulation activities allowed the team to show that unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) can function like manned aircraft in the national airspace system (NAS). The event further displayed the benefits of four-dimensional (time and space) trajectory service in UAS operations, including runway approaches and coordination of cooperative operations. The use of a four-dimensional trajectory FMS also results in improved mission planning, longer time on station, greater mission endurance and enhanced airspace control.
"Unmanned aircraft are valuable, reliable assets for America's military, and they stand to serve an equally important role in civil operations," says AAI Unmanned Aircraft Systems Senior Vice President and General Manager Steven Reid. "With FAA cooperation, our Shadow aircraft was flown safely within the NAS. This represents a significant step forward in providing the FAA critical data for analysis and development of procedures for future UAS operations in the NAS. The demonstration brings us a step closer to employing the benefits of persistent UAS surveillance for possible applications including meteorological and scientific research, border and homeland security, and post-disaster relief efforts."
"This demonstration provides a path for the Shadow aircraft to operate in the NAS. The flight management system is commercially certified and provides precise, time-based navigation capability," said Chris Beaufait, president and general manager of Avionics for GE Aviation Systems.
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