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Airbus conducts first flight test of Skyways commercial parcel delivery drone

LBR Staff Writer Published 12 February 2018

Airbus Helicopters has completed the first flight demonstration test of the Skyways unmanned air vehicle at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

The unmanned air vehicle has been started at the maintenance centre and landed on the roof of a parcel station.

Airbus has specially designed the parcel station to automatically load the parcel with the support of a robotic arm.

After loading with the parcel, Skyways drone started again from the station and returned to land, showing the drone’s automatic unloading capability.

In February 2016, the company launched the experimental project with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) to develop an urban unmanned air system to enhance the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of the air delivery business in cities such as Singapore.

In April 2017, Airbus expanded the collaboration Singapore Post (SingPost) to serve as local logistics partner for the project.

Airbus Helicopters is the architect and provider of Skyways unmanned air vehicle, which includes systems and structures that enable drones to land, dock with secure structures, discharge or take on payloads and then fly off to other destinations.

With equipment and facilities installed at the NUS campus, the Skyways project is at an advanced stage. When the trial service begins this year, the unmanned air system will be demonstrated in the university.

Airbus Helicopters engineering executive vice president and chief technical officer Alain Flourens said: “Today’s flight demonstration paves the way positively to our local trial service launch in the coming months.

“It is the result of a very strong partnership among the stakeholders involved, especially the close guidance and confidence from the CAAS.”


Image: Airbus Helicopters has completed the first flight demonstration test of the Skyways unmanned air vehicle. Photo: courtesy of Airbus - Sylvain Ramadier.