Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971

2020-09-01

VSR700 UAS Prototype Performs First Flight

The prototype of Airbus Helicopters’ VSR700 unmanned aerial system (UAS) recently performed its first free flight. The VSR700 performed a 10-minute flight at a drone test centre near Aix-en-Provence, south of France.
 
This is a step forward in the programme following the first flight in November 2019 when the prototype was tethered to comply with regulatory requirements. To enable this free flight, Airbus Helicopters implemented geofencing, a virtual perimeter, which enabled a flight clearance from airworthiness authorities for free flight. The flight test programme will now evolve to progressively open the flight envelope. 
 
The VSR700, derived from Hélicoptères Guimbal’s Cabri G2, is a UAS in the 500-1000 kg maximum take-off weight range. It reportedly offers the best balance of payload capability, endurance and operational cost. It is capable of carrying multiple full-size naval sensors for extended periods and can operate from existing ships, alongside a helicopter, with a low logistical footprint. 
 
This prototype has evolved over the last nine months since its maiden flight. The programme implemented the Flight Termination System allowing the mission to be ended if necessary. Modifications have equally been performed to the air vehicle, alongside autopilot software evolutions and updates, as well as structural modifications and reinforcements.
 

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