Indian aerospace and defence company Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) has successfully demonstrated the flight of a rotary wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), developed in collaboration with academics.
The 10kg helicopter UAV is powered by a two-stroke petrol engine with a twin blade main rotor and tail rotor.
Developed in association with the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK), the vehicle can carry a payload of 2.5kg including live stream video camera.
The helicopter’s range is 8km-10km and can fly continuously for up to one hour.
The demonstration included the attitude control attitude hold (ACAH) mode, position control, position hold mode (autonomous hover), as well as low-speed flight in forward, backward and sideward directions.
HAL’s board of directors was present at the demonstration site and watched the live streaming of the video feed from on board the rotary wing on a video receiver.
The video feed contained status of the helicopter UAV, its parameters and its real-time position on the map.
The state-owned firm is partnering with the country’s premier educational institutions to achieve self-reliance in the aviation field and to boost its research and development (R&D) efforts.
In a statement, HAL chairman and managing director Suvarna Raju said: “With this demo, HAL’s Rotary Wing R&D Centre (RWR&DC) is well poised to employ its skills and capabilities to undertake development of rotary UAVs of higher weight classes and weapons as payloads.
“The success is the testimony of the industry-academia collaboration.”
The RWR&DC designs and develops rotary wing platforms for military and civil operations, as well as para-military forces and homeland security.
It developed the advanced light helicopter, which is being operated by the Indian Defence Forces.
HAL has developed control laws, a full authority flight controller, and other associated technologies such as autonomous navigation and ground control systems as part of the partnership with IITK.