Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Honeywell’s fly-by-wire system will be the brains of Pipistrel’s cargo drone

Slovenian aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel is making great strides. After presenting its future family of hybrid electric cargo drones intended for air freight transport (in September 2020), the company announces that it has selected Honeywell’s Compact Fly-By-Wire system for flight control of its Nuuva V300 cargo unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Its Fly-By-Wire systems will act as the “brain” of the aircraft‘s flight controls by operating them electronically and can be found inside nearly all large fixed-wing aircraft.

Nuuva V300 loading.
Nuuva V300 loading. Credit: Pipistrel

After years of excellent cooperation in the UAM sector, we chose to work with Honeywell in the development of the Nuuva V300 as well,” said Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel Group. “We see this cargo aircraft paving the way for the passenger-carrying Pipistrel 801, our proposed air taxi for Uber Elevate, as both aircraft share similar architectures. Honeywell’s expertise and the proven capabilities of its Compact Fly-By-Wire system will provide airliner levels of safety for our novel air vehicles.

The compact version of Honeywell has features derived from decades of experience and expertise in aircraft fly-by-wire systems but is much smaller – about the size of a paperback book. This product is designed for smaller autonomous aircraft for cargo and urban air mobility, as its electric rudder control adds stability and performance without heavy hydraulics, control cables, or pushrods.

Pipistrel is developing the hybrid-electric powered cargo drone Nuuva V300, a long-range, large-capacity, autonomous UAV. It will take off and land vertically with battery power, meaning it does not require a runway and has significantly lower operating costs than helicopters. It can carry loads up to 300 kilograms for more than 300 km (186 miles), making it an ideal solution for deliveries to areas traditionally accessible only by helicopter. At lower take-off altitudes and with shorter mission requirements, the payload can be increased to up to 460 kg.