Pipistrel has selected Honeywell’s Compact Fly-By-Wire system for its Nuuva V300 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), saying its proven architecture is ‘ideally suited for the autonomous aircraft’.

Nuuva V300 is a long-range, large-capacity, autonomous UAV which will take off and land vertically with battery power. When announcing this series of aircraft, Pipistrel said it aims to disrupt aerial cargo transportation by commercialising the use of eVTOL aircraft, with the Nuuva family combining ‘the best of both aeroplane and helicopter air cargo transportation principles’.

It can carry loads up to 300 kilograms (around 660 pounds) for more than 300 kilometers (around 186 miles), making it an ideal solution for deliveries to areas traditionally accessible only by helicopter. As the Nuuva V300 does not require a runway, operating costs are also significantly lower than helicopters.

Ivo Boscarol, Founder and CEO of Pipistrel Group, said: “After years of excellent cooperation in the Urban Air Mobility sector, we chose to work with Honeywell in the development of the Nuuva V300 as well.

“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.”

Fly-by-wire computers act as the ‘brains’ of an aircraft’s flight controls by operating them electronically and can be found inside nearly all large fixed-wing aircraft today.

The compact version from Honeywell has features derived from decades of expertise in fly-by-wire systems for airliners, but much smaller — roughly the size of a paperback book.

It is intended for smaller autonomous cargo and urban air mobility vehicles and adds stability and performance by driving flight controls electrically, without heavy hydraulics, control cables or push rods.

Stéphane Fymat, Vice President and General Manager, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)/UAM, Honeywell Aerospace, added: “One of the toughest challenges logistics companies face today is meeting the demand for same-day delivery. Vehicles like Pipistrel’s Nuuva V300 are going to be a real breakthrough in the race to solve this problem.

“We listened to our customers and built a product that meets the unique needs of this segment, and we’re extremely proud that our Compact Fly-By-Wire system will be guiding these vehicles as they take to the skies.”