This year, for the first time in show history, outdoor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) demonstrations were added to the schedule at the biannual Farnborough Internationial Airshow (FIA2010), held in Farnborough, England. The Farnborough International Airshow (FIA) is one of the world’s most iconic global aviation events. FIA holds a prominent position within the aerospace calendar taking place on a biennial basis (once every two years) over one week in July. The first five days of the show are traditionally trade days only, followed by a weekend where the exhibition is opened up to the public.
Aeryon was demonstrating the Aeryon Scout during the 4 trade days of this year’s show. The Aeryon Scout was not only the first UAV to ever fly outdoors at FIA, but was also the only system to fly for all 4 demonstration days and concluded the week as the last system to land. The Scout clearly demonstrated it is a rugged, military grade UAV, flawlessly handling the high winds and rain that other systems struggled with.
Demonstrations were conducted along a runway area of the airport. Aeryon’s typical demonstration consisted of a flight transiting a length of runway, approximately 460m from the operator, at an altitude of 40m. The operator demonstrated some of the fast flight capabilities of the Scout flying at speeds of up to 40 km. Flights were conducted demonstrating the system’s waypoint following capabilities and ad-hoc control methodologies.
In order to get permission to fly, the organizers of the show and demonstrators worked with Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to obtain flight clearances for this event. This involved evaluation of spectrum usage, vehicle characteristics and safety systems, which the Scout passed with flying colours. Flights were closely supervised by CAA personnel to ensure safety.