VSR700 prototype flies in France
Airbus Helicopters’ VSR700 UAS prototype has flown for the first time at a test centre near Aix-en-Provence in France, the company announced on 12 November.
The tests, conducted on 8 November, saw the VSR700 perform several take-offs and landings with the longest flight lasting around ten minutes.
The VSR700 was tethered with 30-metre cables to secure the flight test zone in accordance with the airworthiness authority that provided the flight clearance. Subsequent phases of the flight test programme will now evolve towards free flight, and then progressively open the flight envelope.
The VSR700 is derived from Hélicoptères Guimbal’s Cabri G2. The UAS will have a 500-1000kg maximum take-off weight, and will be capable of carrying multiple full size naval sensors for extended periods for operation from ships as a complement to manned helicopters.
The VSR700 prototype has a specialised set of avionics and an advanced flight control system, a payload bay in place of the pilot station to manage mission equipment, and a sleek, aerodynamic shape for advanced flight performance.
Bruno Even, CEO, Airbus Helicopters, said: ‘The VSR700 is a fully-fledged UAS, capitalising on Airbus Helicopters’ extensive experience of advanced autopilot systems and engineering expertise to provide modern militaries with new capabilities.
‘This first flight of the VSR700 prototype is a major milestone for the programme as we make progress on the operational demonstrator for the French Navy that will perform trials in 2021 in partnership with Naval Group.’
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