Brazilian cargo drone achieves testing milestone

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Brazilian aerospace firm FT Sistemas has reported progress on the flight testing of its FT-100FH cargo-carrying drone.

The company’s FT-100FH (Flettner Helicopter) unmanned drone has intermeshing counter-rotating rotors which increase the amount of cargo it can carry and make it easier to load and unload. The FT-100FH is designed to stay in the air for 2.5-hour endurance, has a 12km range and 5kg payload capacity.

Engineers are concluding the Visual-Line-of-Sight flight testing necessary to further develop the drone and then will work to obtain Beyond-Line-of-Sight flight authorization form ANAC, the Brazilian civil aviation authority.

Nei Brasil, CEO of FT Sistemas said, “For a program of this complexity, the successful completion of this phase of the flight-testing campaign is a testament to the expertise and team work of all involved,”

The current phase of flight testing is evaluating the command and control, avionics, flight controls, powerplant and power transmission systems. The envelope expansion of the rotorcraft will be held before the end of the year.

FT Sistemas says it is targeting “high-end homeland security and monitoring, utilities, cargo delivery, crop protection and communication relay applications” for the rotorcraft. An version is under development for applications that require Visual-Line-of-Sight operations only.

“The FT-100FH is a UAV rotorcraft envisioned to enhance the way the applications will be deployed. Its operational versatility allied with its mission capabilities will help it accomplish specific market demands,” said Igor Drago, lead FT-100-FH Engineer.

 

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Ben has worked all of his career as a journalist and now editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry. In the last 16 years he has written on subjects from nuclear submarines and autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies and commercial aviation. Latterly editor of a leading engineering magazine, he brings an eye for a great story and lots of experience to the team.

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