Embraer has concluded a series of experimental flights in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, focussed on evaluating new autonomous system technologies in real flight conditions.

The aerial data collection and real-time evaluation in urban scenarios used regular piloted helicopters as part of the Embraer Autonomous Systems project (Project EASy).

Embraer worked with Eve UAM for seven days in collaboration with partners Daedalean, Iris Automation, and Near Earth Autonomy, during which time they explored scenarios for take-off, climb, cruise, approach, and landing flight phases.

The helicopters from Helisul Aviação, an Eve partner for UAM development in Brazil, were controlled by professional pilots while systems captured data and performed real-time calculations.

Embraer head of autonomous systems Julio Bolzani said: “This project allowed us to evaluate technologies in real-time and also collect data that will later be used in simulations.

“It is important to note that we are not going straight to fully autonomous operations and pilots will be on board to benefit from safer and simplified vehicle operation until we reach a fully certified autonomous flight system for UAM.”

This experimental process is also connected to the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) coordinated by Eve since 2021, in cooperation with strategic partners and government entities to convert this knowledge into a working data and analysis framework to guide all operational aspects of the future of Urban Air Mobility.

Eve co-CEO Andre Stein concluded: “We are thrilled with all operational aspects exercised and data acquired in this project and its direct connection to our CONOPS, which are solid steps for safely introducing future autonomous operations and accelerating the affordability and growth of the UAM market.”

In March, Eve Air Mobility completed the CONOPS for airspace integration of Urban Air Mobility in the UK, a case study looking at transporting passengers between Heathrow Airport and London City Airport.

Led by Eve, the UK Air Mobility Consortium consists of NATS, Heathrow Airport, London City Airport, Skyports, Atech, Volocopter, and Vertical Aerospace, in partnership with the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Innovation Hub through its Regulatory Sandbox.

Last December, EmbraerX and Australia’s civil air navigation service provider, Airservices, developed a new CONOPS to help accelerate the growth of UAM, using Melbourne as a model, while simultaneously preparing for scale of operations through new traffic management technologies.