Pipistrel has selected Honeywell’s next-generation Attitude Heading Reference System and Air Data Module (ADM) for its Nuuva V300 cargo unmanned aerial vehicle.
The Nuuva V300 is a long-range, large-capacity, autonomous UAV which will take off and land vertically with battery power. It does not require a runway and has significantly lower operating costs than helicopters. It can carry loads up to 460kg (around 1000 pounds) for more than 300km (around 186 miles), making it an ideal solution for deliveries to areas traditionally accessible only by helicopter.
Honeywell is also providing the fly-by-wire system, which operates as the ‘brain’ of an aircraft’s flight controls. The Attitude Heading Reference System (AH-2000) and (ADM) act as the ‘heart’, supplying critical motion data to all avionics systems and many mechanical systems.
Both the AH-2000 and ADM are key enablers for safe and efficient vehicle operations with potential to serve several flight applications, including urban air mobility vehicles, commercial aircraft, business jets and helicopters.
The technologies provide critical navigation and motion-sensing data and will work in tandem with Honeywell’s Compact Fly-By-Wire system onboard the aircraft.
Tine Tomažič, chief technology officer at Pipistrel, said: “Nuuva V300’s groundbreaking operational concept requires highly accurate, dependable and robust navigation sensors, and the AH-2000 and ADM are key enablers of this functionality.
“This technology allows us to deliver simple and intuitive mouse-click control to fly the vehicle, eliminating the need for operators to be trained with traditional piloting skills, which helps ensure rapid scale-up of operations for our customers.”
The AH-2000 uses Honeywell’s next-generation, industry-leading, Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) based inertial sensors to deliver to deliver aircraft attitude and velocity information. It delivers safety-critical attitude and velocity data to drive the fly-by-wire flight control system and provides navigation data to the fly-by-wire guidance system.
This provides the high level of safety normally seen on commercial aircraft, but in a more compact size. This data is necessary for fly-by-wire control, navigation and cockpit displays.
Honeywell’s ADM utilises the industry’s most stable pressure-sensing technology to provide safety-critical avionics with measurements for accurate altitude and airspeed.
Matt Picchetti, vice president and general manager, Navigation & Sensors at Honeywell Aerospace, said: “Unmanned aircraft, especially those delivering packages, must be equipped with high-performing inertial systems to ensure fly-by-wire systems are provided the best possible information on location, speed and position.
“Vehicles like Nuuva V300 will change the way logistics companies fulfill package deliveries, and we’re proud to add our growing list of onboard technologies to enhance safety and make flying easier.”
Honeywell is a major player in the emerging urban air mobility segment, offering a full line of avionics, flight control, navigation, radar, communications, actuation, cooling, motors and turbo-electric propulsion systems — all tailored for piloted VTOL and unmanned cargo vehicles.
Last year, it formed a new business unit focusing on urban air mobility and unmanned aerial systems and unveiled its next generation avionics lab.
As well as Pipistrel, the company is developing the flight deck technologies for Vertical Aerospace’s eVTOL aircraft demonstrators. It also released its latest turbogenerator for hybrid-electric aircraft and plans to hold the first demonstration in Q3 2021.