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.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by Joe Davila

Boeing, Air Force demonstrate Minuteman III readiness in flight test

Air Force photograph by Joe Davila Boeing supported the launch of an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., on Sept. 23, 2014. Boeing supported the U.S. Air Force’s succ...
 
 

Pentagon going to court for refusing to release Sikorsky data

PETALUMA, Calif. – The Pentagon is refusing to release any data on any prime contractors participating in the 25-year-old Comprehensive Subcontracting Plan Test Program. The American Small Business League launched a program in 2010 to expose the fraud and abuse against small businesses the CSPTP had allowed. As a test the ASBL requested the most...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Raytheon Griffin C flight tests demonstrate in-flight retargeting capability

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the U.S. Marine Corps for low-rate initial production of the AN/TPS-80 Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). G/ATOR is the first ground-based multi-mi...
 

 
insitu-scan-eagle1

Insitu announces ScanEagle 2 – the next generation of ScanEagle platform

  From its booth at the Euronaval Exhibition and Conference in Paris, Insitu Oct. 29 announced ScanEagle 2, the next generation of its revolutionary ScanEagle platform. Leveraging lessons learned from more than 800,000 ope...
 
 

DOD, Lockheed Martin announce principle agreement F-35 purchase

The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have reached an agreement in principle for the production of 43 F-35 Lightning II aircraft.  Officials anticipate the Low-Rate Initial Production lot 8 (LRIP 8) contract to be finalized in the coming weeks.  The contract is for fiscal year 2014 with deliveries beginning in 2016. Cost details...
 
 

Boeing delivers Emirates’ 100th 777-300ER

Boeing and Emirates Airline are celebrating the delivery of the airline’s 100th 777-300ER (Extended Range), marking another milestone in a partnership that began over two decades ago when the Dubai-based airline ordered its first 777. With this delivery, Emirates will have 142 777s in operation and is the only airline in the world to operate...
 




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>