Airbus and the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr) have conducted the test launch of a remote carrier (RC) flight test demonstrator from a flying A400M transport aircraft.
This marks the first time an RC demonstrator has been released and operated from a flying A400M aircraft.
The test was carried out last month from the Todendorf Training Area, in closed airspace above the Baltic Sea.
It was a collaborative effort between Bundeswehr, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Technical Centre for Aircraft and Aeronautical Equipment (WTD 61), Airbus and industry partners, SFL and Geradts.
As part of this test, a device to support RC’s launch was loaded onto the ramp of a German Air Force’s A400M military transport aircraft.
According to Airbus, the RC launching device was developed by the associated team in just six months, along with support from Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support.
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The RC demonstrator, which was represented by a modified Airbus-built Do-DT25 drone, was then launched from a flying A400M.
Soon after the launch, the drone’s engines started and continued the entire mission in self-flight or powered flight mode.
The crew members aboard A400M later transferred the control of the Do-DT25 drone to another operator on the ground, who was responsible for the safe landing of the drone.
The test was conducted as part of the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) manned-unmanned teaming (MUM-T) demonstrator project.
Airbus Defence and Space CEO Michael Schoellhorn said: “The excellent collaboration with our German customer and partners on the A400M UAV Launcher campaign is further evidence of how the development of FCAS will take innovation and technologies to the next level.”
Recently, Airbus completed the first large-scale multi-domain flight demo under this project.