The Mosquito Ultralight Helicopter; now controlled by UAV Navigation
The Mosquito helicopter is one of the best known ultralight rotary wing platforms on the market. It is a high performance, single seat, conventional helicopter with a single main rotor and tail rotor. Although it is typically used as a piloted aircraft, the Mosquito may be converted into an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in order to take advantage of the benefits that uncrewed aviation provides.
Recently, UAV Navigation sent a technical team to perform the adaptation process on a Mosquito to enable it to become fully operational and autonomous using UAV Navigation's flight control system.
The integration process begins independently with the client carrying out the physical installation of the autopilot and accessories, assisted remotely by UAV Navigation's team and using the excellent documentation provided in the company's online Support Center. The second and final step was a visit to the client's facilities where our flight control engineers carried out the final checks and proceeded with the adaptation of the system in a series of actual flights with the client’s helicopter.
Before visiting the client, our engineers work on the client's project within a simulation environment, designing a complete 6DOF model derived from the information provided by the manufacturer of the aircraft. Additionally, in the case of more complex and high risk projects, a complete in-depth study of the platform and advanced simulation techniques can be performed to obtain gains and config files. This extensive simulation process leads to a more accurate gains file, meaning that the final adjustments during the actual flight tests will be minimized - meaning that risk is reduced even further.
Adaptation is a compulsory and vital process carried out by experienced and qualified UAV Navigation aerospace engineers. In just a few days at the flying field the system is adjusted and flying completely autonomously. The output of the Adaptation process is a number of customized 'Configuration Files', including a Gains File, all of which are specific to the customer's platform. These files allow the autopilot to control the UAV safely, correctly and efficiently within its flight envelope.
Another tool in the engineer's toolbox is the use of a datalogger which is able to record all flight parameters from a 'Passenger Flight', during which the autopilot is flown passively within the aircraft. The information recorded provides the UAV Navigation engineers with accurate data on platform behavior, which can be extremely useful during the adaptation process.
UAV Navigation's flight controller is one of the most advanced, reliable and robust system for use when undertaking a project to convert an ultralight helicopter into a UAV. However, the flight control system features cutting-edge technologies which allow it to control a wide range of uncrewed aerial vehicles, from small RPAS, through mini-UAVs to heavier platforms such as the Mosquito - all of which can be achieved via UAV Navigation's tried and tested adaptation process.