Unmanned Robinson helicopter tested as UAV

Friday 28 Jun 2019

A Robinson R22 helicopter was converted by UAVOS to an unmanned drone. UAVOS — which specializes in the design, development and manufacturing of unmanned vehicles and autopilot systems — successfully completed in-air programmed missions with the unmanned helicopter.

The first flight this spring of the modernized helicopter lasted more than one hour and was performed in a fully self-piloted mode, reaching an altitude of up to 2,200 feet (670 metres). During the flight, all scheduled tests were performed including fully automatic take-off, en-route flight and landing. The tuning of UAV control settings was completed as well.

The converted R22-UV is serving as a platform for research and testing for commercial UAV options. For instance, upcoming test flights will include cargo delivery of up to 330 pounds (150 kg) in automatic mode. Flights with a duration of 6+ hours using additional fuel tanks and a payload for monitoring the land surface are also planned.

Besides that, UAVOS is planning to check operational limitations of the UAV during night flights and flights under severe weather conditions. A top priority is testing the possibility of using spraying equipment and to see whether R22-UV could serve agricultural purposes.

The converted aircraft has a practical ceiling of 13,780 feet (4,200 meters) and has a top speed of 189 kph. The UAV is designed to carry high-precision, heavy professional equipment 88 pounds (40 kg and more) for a wide variety of missions including lidar, synthetic aperture radar, heavy optical equipment or gas analyzers.

The R22-UV can be operated in the regions without airfields, under severe weather conditions and during night-time, in the conditions with high stress risk for a pilot. The converted helicopter is useful for oil and gas companies that need to deliver cargo to hard-to-reach places, or where chemicals hazardous to humans are spread on the fields and forests.

For further information and a link to the article, check out the recent posting on foresttech.news.

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