Business

July 29, 2013

AeroVironment’s Puma AE receives FAA type certificate for commercial use

AeroVironment, Inc. announced that on July 19, 2013 it received a “Restricted Category” rating for its Puma AE™ small unmanned aircraft system from the Federal Aviation Administration.

The first-of-its-kind certificate permits operators to fly Puma for commercial missions, such as oil spill monitoring and ocean surveys, in the North Slope region of the Arctic.

Prior to this Restricted Category type certificate being issued, it was not possible to operate an unmanned aircraft system in the national airspace for commercial operations. Although a potential user could obtain an experimental airworthiness certificate, the certificate specifically excluded and did not authorize the use of an unmanned aircraft system for commercial operations.

“This certificate represents an aviation milestone that could not have happened without the FAA’s vision and leadership,” said Tim Conver, AeroVironment chairman and chief executive officer.  “Aerial observation missions can now be safely accomplished in hazardous Arctic locations, which will reduce the risk of manned aviation in an efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner.  We believe initial operations in the Arctic can lead to long-term broad adoption for similar applications elsewhere in the United States and throughout the world.”

AeroVironment expects Puma AE to be deployed later this summer to support emergency response crews for oil spill monitoring and wildlife observation off the coast of the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic Circle.

Researchers and other entities now will be able to perform aerial observation at significantly lower operational costs compared to manned aircraft.  Puma AE also gives personnel the ability to immediately obtain and analyze aerial monitoring data because they will be able to hand launch Puma AE whenever needed, giving them a new option to traditional methods, such as manned aircraft, support ships and satellites.

The 13-pound Puma AE unmanned aircraft system does not require any infrastructure, such as runways, launching pads, or recovery devices.  It is man-portable and can be assembled in minutes, hand-launched and recovered on sea or land.  This marks the first time the FAA has approved a hand-launched unmanned aircraft system for commercial missions.

“Because Puma is a very quiet aircraft and battery operated it can monitor critical natural wildlife habitats at low altitudes without disturbing the animals or adversely affecting pristine environments,” said Roy Minson, AeroVironment senior vice president and general manager of the company’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems business segment.  “Puma also is very flexible and easy to use because operators can take it anywhere without needing to haul any infrastructure, such as a launcher or recovery device, on the missions.  This is especially important for oceangoing vessels, since installing new infrastructure can be a long and costly process.”

The FAA stated in its announcement that previous military acceptance of the Puma AE design allowed the FAA to issue the Restricted Category type certificate.

 




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 1, 2014

Veterans: Substantial VA staff will face discipline - A substantial number of VA employees will face punishment for the veterans treatment scandal, the new national commander of the American Legion predicted Sept. 30, indicating that the slow pace of discipline has more to do with the hoops the department must jump through than it does a...
 
 

News Briefs October 1, 2014

Egypt president gives army control of arms imports The Egyptian president has amended a law, giving the country’s army control over weapons and ammunition imports. The Sept. 30 statement from the presidency says Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi changed articles stipulating that a permit for weapons’ imports has to be granted by the Interior Ministry, which is in...
 
 
atk-test

ATK successfully tests Orion launch abort motor igniter

NASA and ATK successfully completed a static test of the launch abort motor igniter for the Orion crew capsule’s Launch Abort System. Conducted at ATK’s facility in Promontory, Utah, this test is the next step towa...
 

 
uav-coalition

Small UAV coalition launched to advance commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles

Leading technology companies Oct. 1 formally announced the formation of the Small UAV Coalition to help pave the way for commercial, philanthropic, and civil use of small unmanned aerial vehicles in the United States and abroad...
 
 
Navy photograph

NAWCWD manned for unmanned systems

Navy photograph A rail launch is performed during Integrator unmanned aerial vehicle testing at Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division China Lake, Calif. Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division scientists, engineers, techn...
 
 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

NASA employees go ‘above and beyond’

Courtesy photograph NASA Chief Scientist Albion Bowers, Christopher Miller and Nelson Brown receive the Exception Engineering Achievement Medal at Armstrong Research Center, Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The prestigious award ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>