India’s Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) successfully demonstrated flight of a new 10Kg-class Rotary wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (RUAV) at its facility in Bengaluru.
The flight of the unmanned helicopter lasted for about ten minutes during which the Attitude Control Attitude Hold (ACAH) mode, Position Control, Position Hold mode (autonomous hover), low speed flight in forward, backward and sideward directions, were demonstrated. The video feed from onboard the helicopter was streamed live and shown on the dedicated video receiver. The status of the helicopter, its parameters and its real-time position on the map were also shown.
The new RUAV is powered by a single 2-stroke petrol engine driving twin blade main rotor and tail rotor. The RUAV has a payload capability of 2.5Kg including live stream video camera and has a range of 8-10 Km with an endurance of one hour.
“To achieve self reliance in the aviation field and to enhance its R&D efforts, HAL is working closely with premier educational institutes and has established chairs at IITs (Madras, Roorkee, Kharagpur, Bombay, Kanpur) and IISc Bengaluru. The RUAV is developed in association with IIT Kanpur and is the first outcome of HAL’s tie-ups with academia”, HAL said in a statement.
These efforts led to successful development of control laws, a full authority flight controller, also known as Fly By Wire (FBW) system for helicopters and other associated technologies like autonomous navigation system, ground control system etc.
“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 statement added.
“The success is the testimony of the Industry-academia collaboration”, said Mr. T. Suvarna Raju, Head of HAL.
The RWR&DC at HAL is involved in design and development of rotary wing platforms (helicopters) for military and civil operations. Advanced Light Helicopter (AH) in its different variants (ALH-Dhruv, ALH-Rudra, ALH Wheeled version) is one of its main products and in service with the Indian Defence Forces. The Light Combat Helicopter (LCH) is also designed and developed by this centre and is under production for Indian Army and Indian Air Force.