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Tactical Robotics' AirMule UAV finally completed its first autonomous flight

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World Defense & Security Industry News - Tactical Robotics
 
 
Tactical Robotics' AirMule UAV finally completed its first autonomous flight
 
On December 30th, AirMule successfully completed its first autonomous, untethered flight at the Megiddo airfield in northern Israel, Tactical Robotics announced. "2015 was a challenging year that included a ground incident that damaged our AirMule demonstrator. While the repair of the aircraft imposed a delay of several months on our development schedule, it also gave us an opportunity to make significant upgrades to the aircraft systems," said Tactical Robotics.
     
Tactical Robotics AirMule UAV finally completed its first autonomous flight 640 001The AirMule from Tactical Robotics performed its first autonomous flight on Dec. 30, 2015
(Credit: Tactical Robotics)
     
"We installed new equipment and integrated new safety features. In parallel to the repair and upgrade activity we initiated and carried out a rigorous examination process with the Israeli CAA in order to get authorization for untethered flight testing," added Tactical Robotics.

The testing schedule in Megiddo includes plans for a demonstration of AirMule's cargo delivery capability as well as a 'beyond the line of sight' flight along a path running through an adjacent, forested area. "All in all, we expect that in 2016 we will finally be able to demonstrate some of AirMule's unique capabilities," said Tactical Robotics

Additionally, Tactical Robotics achieved 'category 2' certification for an export variant of the aircraft known as 'Cormorant', under the international Missile Technology Control Regime (MCTR), an important element in the eventual marketing of the aircraft.

The AirMule will be used in search and rescue operations where it would be too dangerous or inaccessible for a helicopter, such as evacuating people from the upper stories of burning buildings, or delivering and extracting police and soldiers while very close to structures, narrow streets, and or through holes into confined spaces. The UAV will be able to carry up to two wounded soldiers and has a max payload of 500kg. It is powered by a Turbomeca Ariel 2 turboshaft turbine (940hp) and can reach a maximum speed of 180 km/h at sea level.