Aurora Delivers First Centaur Optionally-Piloted Aircraft To Swiss DoD | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 07.23.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.23.14 **
** Airborne 07.21.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.21.14 **
** Airborne 07.18.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.18.14 **

Sat, Dec 08, 2012

Aurora Delivers First Centaur Optionally-Piloted Aircraft To Swiss DoD

Modified Diamond DA42MNG Airplane Will Be A Military Test Bed

The world's first production Optionally-Piloted Aircraft (OPA) system has been delivered by Aurora Flight Sciences to Switzerland's Department of Defense. The Centaur OPA, flown by an onboard crew in FAA Normal Category, departed the Manassas Regional Airport in Virginia on November 26 for delivery to armasuisse at the Emmen Military Airfield in Switzerland. It arrived at Emmen on November 28.

The Centaur OPA is a new type of aircraft that can be flown in both manned and unmanned configurations. A third flight configuration, the hybrid mode, allows for control from the ground with a safety pilot onboard the aircraft. The capability to fly both manned and unmanned missions creates a system with optimal flexibility for the operator. The hybrid flight mode facilitates flight operations that are identical to an unmanned aircraft by utilizing a safety pilot to watch for other aircraft or take over control in an emergency.

Armasuisse is the official procurement agency of the Swiss Department of Defense and operates its own Flight Test Center. Upon installation of the OPA equipment and site preparation of Aurora's Ground Control Station in January 2013, armasuisse will use Centaur as a flying test bed. Initial projects include new sensors as well as sense and avoid equipment required to operate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the entire Swiss National Air Space (NAS). The Swiss are leaders in the development of UAS operations in complex and dense airspace. Following hybrid mode flight tests in Virginia and Switzerland, armasuisse will have the ability to operate Centaur unmanned in March 2013.

The Centaur OPA's unique design with its hybrid flight mode make it an ideal platform for research and development. Centaur is based on the successful Diamond Aircraft DA42MNG, a four-seat twin-engine heavy fuel aircraft specifically designed to deploy airborne sensors. Centaur is the world's first OPA to retain its FAA and EASA Normal Category Airworthiness Certification in the manned flight mode with the ability to provide its full functionality for unmanned flight. The conversion between manned and unmanned flight modes only takes four hours to complete. Centaur is able to carry its own ground control station, making it the world's first self-deployable unmanned aircraft system.

"Centaur is an ideal platform for Switzerland's initiative to develop new technologies that will enable UAV operations in the Swiss National Air Space," said Dr. John Langford, Aurora Flight Sciences' Chairman and CEO. "Coupled with our recent selection by the US Navy for the AACUS program and by DARPA and Raytheon for the PCAS program, Centaur establishes Aurora as the industry leader in Optionally-Piloted Aircraft technology."

(Image provided by Aurora Flight Sciences)

FMI: www.aurora.aero

Advertisement

More News

FAA Extends NOTAM For Ben Gurion International Airport

Adds 24 HoursTo Ban On US Flights To Tel Aviv The FAA has issued another Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) informing U.S. airlines that Tuesday's NOTAM flight remains in effect for Israel's>[...]

Airborne 07.23.14: Garmin's 7 Inch Touch, Equusearch v FAA, Andreini Family Sues

Also: GA Investment, Bud and Ross Granley, C-9 Farewell, Jepp FlightDeck, How To Find ANN At Oshkosh Garmin’s “Team X” is dedicated to experimental aircraft avion>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (07.24.14)

Abandoned & Little Known Airfields Obviously the author's labor of love, "Abandoned & Little Known Airfields" is a listing by state of airstrips either off the beaten path,>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Term (07.24.14): Peak Gust

The highest instantaneous wind speed observed or recorded.>[...]

Aero-News: Quote Of The Day (07.24.14)

"Participation at the Oshkosh airshow has become a staple for NTSB investigators and staff.” Source: NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC