UAV Navigation achieves the first beyond line of sight (BLOS) flight of a drone weighing more than 25 kg in segregated airspace.
UAV Navigation, a Spanish company, has succeeded in demonstrating the safe operation of an automatic drone in a flight to 20km beyond visual range.
The flights took place on the 14th and 15th of January in segregated airspace at the ATLAS center close to Jaen (Spain) under direction of Seville’s Air Traffic Control and in collaboration with ATLAS and VITO , the Belgian company which is the final customer of the drone.
The drone, developed by UAV Navigation, weighs 45 kg and cruises at 130 km/h . It has a ceiling of 3500 m, a range of 400 km. It incorporates a high performance, stabilized day/night camera and has advanced safety measures, including a transponder and a parachute. It should be noted that the autopilot has more than 50,000 flying hours and features both physical and logical redundancy.
It is the first beyond line of sight (BLOS) flight of a drone weighing more than 25 kg to be executed in Spain and is an important step for the integration of drones in the airspace.
A detailed aeronautical safety study of the operation was carried out, taking into account the basic characteristics of the aircraft and its equipment and systems. In order to ensure flight safety, a description of the experimental flights to be executed, flight profiles, operational characteristics, conditions and limitations were also studied and documented.
The pilots were required to meet all current regulations, including a pilot's license, medical examination and completion of type certification on the UAV platform.
UAV Navigation, which is an entirely Spanish company, has been developing and manufacturing autopilots for drones since 2004. It exports more than 80 % of its products worldwide, including USA, Middle East, Asia and Oceania. Its customers include many of the world's leading manufacturers of drones and Tier 1 system integrators.