Airbus' VSR700 conducts first flight in France

The aerial vehicle has successfully performed its first flight in southern France on November 8.

    2019/11/21

NSFW    MARIGNANE, FRANCE — A prototype of the Airbus Helicopters' VSR700 Unmanned Aerial System successfully performed its first test flight at a drone testing center in southern France on November 8.

A press release from Airbus stated that the aircraft performed multiple takeoffs and landings, with its longest flight lasting roughly 10 minutes.

On its website, the company says that the VSR700 has a maximum speed of 185 kilometers per hour. The aerial vehicle was tethered with 30-meter cables while conducting the test flight.

The company says the aircraft will eventually be cleared to fly without a cable.

Airbus said aerial vehicle was based on the Helicopteres Guimbal's Cabri G2 and will be able to operate on ships with other helicopters.

The VSR700 will feature an advanced flight control system, a payload bay in place of a cockpit and a specialized set of avionics. The company explained that the aircraft will also be capable of carrying multiple full size naval sensors as it has an endurance of eight hours with full payload.

Airbus had previously conducted a test flight of another version of the same aerial vehicle, called the VSR700 Optionally Piloted Vehicle, in 2017.

The VSR700 Unmanned Aerial System will perform test flights with French company the Naval Group for the French Navy in 2021.

The aircraft is being pitched for the French Navy's airborne drone system program scheduled for 2028, according to Naval News.
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