Flight tests for UAS airspace integration regulations


A fourth flight test program consisting of a series of demonstrations will be conducted from the end of April through June to help engineers validate and advance technologies for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to integrate into the National Airspace System (NAS).

The work will be monitored by Honeywell, General Atomics Aeronautics Systems, the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) Special Committee (SC)-228, and NASA. The series of flight tests will assist Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials in developing regulations for UAS integrating into the NAS.

Conducted from NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in California, the Flight Test Series 4 (FT4) objective will need 15 flights and require more than 270 encounters with other aircraft. Piloted aircraft will fly into different positions near or around NASA Armstrong’s Predator B remotely piloted aircraft, called the Ikhana.

During the flight tests, intruder aircraft will include NASA’s B200 King Air, T-34C, GIII, TG-14, Honeywell’s C-90 King Air, and the US Air Force’s C-12 King Air. The goal of these encounters is to function as high speed and low speed aircraft to verify and validate the requirements of the minimal operational performance standards for UAS.

April 22, 2016

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