Friday October 17, 2014 0 comments
FORT COLLINS - Scion UAS successfully completed a series of capability demonstrations of the SA-400 Jackal, an optionally piloted helicopter system, the company announced.
Scion said the flight was performed in restricted airspace so the 1,200-pound helicopter could fly without a safety pilot aboard.
Flights included automated landing and takeoff from a moving platform. The helicopter also demonstrated it could achieve forward flights at up to 70 mph, sideways flights of up to 35 mph and distance flights that sent the aircraft on a 20-mile roundtrip with a maximum straight-line distance more than 5 miles from the ground control station.
The SA-400 is designed to carry a 100-pound payload, and all demonstration flights were performed with a payload of 100 pounds.
"The tests went exactly as planned," said Dr. Phillip Jones, one of Scion's 5 founders in charge of software development and autopilot integration on the SA-400 platform.
"We've demonstrated all of these capabilities before with our safety pilot aboard, so we were very confident in the system."
Personnel from the U.S. Office of Naval Research and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) were present to witness the flights. After the demonstration, Scion said NRL took delivery of the first SA-400 Jackal system at their facility in Washington, D.C.
A second system will be delivered before the end of 2014, Scion said.
"There have been frustrations along the way, but to see what we have accomplished as a small independently-owned business makes it worthwhile," said Betsy Sampson, Scion co-founder and CFO.
"It's been very exciting and satisfying to complete this delivery."
Founded in 2011, Scion UAS LLC offers a family of unmanned helicopter systems that range in size from car transportable to optionally piloted.