Reliable Robotics and FAA flight test unmanned drones in busy airspace


Reliable Robotics and the FAA have completed a flight test program that successfully integrated remotely piloted aircraft systems into congested airspace.

The series of simulations and tests were run as part of the FAA’s Urban Air Mobility Airspace Management Demonstration (UAMD) and included a week-long series of flights in Northern California.

California, USA-based Reliable Robotics is developing automated cargo aircraft to increase safety, improve efficiency and open up more routes to regional airports. The company is developing a certifiable system that enables continuous autopilot engagement through all phases of flight, including taxi, takeoff and landing with a remote pilot supervising operations.

Diana Liang, enterprise portfolio manager at the FAA said, “The flight tests conducted by Reliable Robotics highlighted the ability for new aircraft systems to interact with third-party service providers and seamlessly integrate into future airspace environments, and provided critical data for future operations.”

The test construct demonstrated Reliable’s ability to execute vectoring, airspeed diverts, and fly under various simulated weather conditions in simulated Class B airspace. Reliable shared aircraft telemetry through the company’s control center to OneSky, a third-party service provider, who in turn transmitted the data to the FAA’s NextGen Integration & Evaluation Capability (NIEC) research lab.

FAA air traffic controllers participated in the test and provided the FAA NextGen program office with critical validation and insights for its UAM Conops 2.0.

“Collaborating with the FAA on demonstrations like this will help enable the future of mobility and the evolution of our airspace to accommodate new aircraft systems,“ said Davis Hackenberg, vice president of government partnerships at Reliable Robotics, which was founded in 2017.

“Watching our system successfully operate in a live test environment is exciting, and we are proud to help pave the way for future integration of large uncrewed aircraft.”

The FAA accepted Reliable Robotics’ certification plan in July.

Share this story:

About Author


Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

Comments are closed.