The Orkney-based Sus­tain­able Avi­a­tion Test Envi­ron­ment (SATE) will use the ARC Aerosys­tems C600, one of the largest civil­ian UAVs in the world with pay­load up to 100kg, in its sec­ond phase of test­ing.

UK tech­nol­o­gy start­up ARC Aerosys­tems has suc­cess­ful­ly designed, built and test­ed pro­to­types for its C150 and C600 mod­els with part­ner organ­i­sa­tions to devel­op a more sus­tain­able avi­a­tion sec­tor.

The focus is on a hybrid con­cept pow­ered by elec­tric engines that com­bines the prac­ti­cal­i­ty and func­tion­al­i­ty of heli­copter trav­el with the speed and effi­cien­cy of planes. VTOL air­craft do not need lengthy run­ways to get off the ground.

The ARC C600 is able to car­ry heav­ier pay­loads and has also com­plet­ed the 100% scale tran­si­tion test stages. The ARC C600 will now go on to be part of the sec­ond phase of SATE, the UK’s first low-car­bon avi­a­tion test cen­tre embed­ded at a com­mer­cial air­port.

Based at Kirk­wall Air­port in the Orkney Islands, SATE is a con­sor­tium of indus­try part­ners, pub­lic sec­tor bod­ies and aca­d­e­mics work­ing to apply state-of-the-art avi­a­tion tech­nol­o­gy.

ARC is col­lab­o­rat­ing with lead­ing aero­space com­pa­nies to test tech­nolo­gies to reduce the envi­ron­men­tal impact of avi­a­tion, includ­ing elec­tric propul­sion sys­tems. The C600 will now be based at Kirk­wall, to take part in Visu­al Line of Site (VLoS) test­ing.

ARC CEO Seyed Mohseni said: “The C600 is one of the largest civil­ian UAVs in the world, capa­ble of car­ry­ing pay­loads of up to 100kg across long dis­tances, all with­out the need for air­ports due to its VTOL capa­bil­i­ties. Our goal is to help reduce the envi­ron­men­tal impact of avi­a­tion.”

Last year, ARC Aerosys­tems received £6 mil­lion from a com­bi­na­tion of invest­ments includ­ing an over­seas investor and British Busi­ness Bank, which it invest­ed by expand­ing the team and fur­ther devel­op­ing and test­ing var­i­ous size pro­to­types.

With the help of fur­ther invest­ment its team of engi­neers are ready to embark on the next stages of test­ing and cer­ti­fi­ca­tion to bring the ARC C150 and ARC C600 crafts to the wider world, along­side its new mod­el, the LINX P9 pas­sen­ger craft.