Aeronautics' unmanned helicopter first flight imminent

By Arie Egozi

Aeronautics Defense Systems is planning an imminent first flight of its new unmanned rotorcraft that is based on the manned Dynali H2S kit helicopter.

The unmanned H2S will be offered for reconnaissance missions and to act as a weapons launching platform. Its first test flight is due in the next few weeks and it will be made under the supervision of the Israeli civil aviation authority, says Aeronautics chief executive Avi Leumi.

Aeronautics has acquired a major stake in the Belgian helicopter company, whose basic H2S kit is a 6.54m (21.4ft)-long, two-seat, 1.47m-wide cockpit vehicle. The H2S is powered by a Subaru EJ25 engine, it has a climb rate of 1,200ft/min (6.09m/s), cruise speed of 87kt (160km/h) and a maximum altitude of 10,000ft. The unmanned version will have a maximum take-off weight of 700kg (1,540lb). Based on its Orbiter and Aerostar unmanned air vehicles' avionics, Aeronautics will have a dedicated system for H2S remote control.

The conversion work being carried out at Aeronautics' Yavne facilities on the maiden flight prototype includes replacing the cockpit canopy with a narrow nose structure with an aluminium frame and composite skin.

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