UAVOS has begun testing of its UVH-500 unmanned aerial system (UAS), which is based on the manned CH-7 helicopter manufactured by Heli-Sport. The UVH-500 is designed for long-range and intercity delivery and transportation applications. Trials include testing of basic aircraft systems, emergency operating modes such as autorotation landing, and flights with a cargo container weighing up to 287 lb (130 kg).
The helicopter is 23 ft (7 m) long, 5 ft (1.50 m) wide and 7.7 ft (2.35 m) tall, with a rotor diameter of 20.6 ft (6.28 m). It can carry up to 353 lb (160 kg) with a range of up to 522 miles (840 km). UAVOS has removed the cockpit, push/pull rods and flight instruments, and installed a larger fuel tank and larger heat exchangers with an enhanced operational temperatures range, as well as the company’s parachute and autopilot systems.
The autopilot provides the helicopter with additional advantages, such as automatic take-off and landing, remote Ground Control network capability, autorotation landing capability and high-efficiency flight control, based on a TECS (Total Energy Control System). The aircraft is also equipped with a Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) data link system for over-the-horizon operations.
The UVH-500 UAS can be operated without the need for an airfield, under conditions that would be risky for manned helicopters such as severe weather conditions and during the night. It can make deliveries to destinations including islands, mountain areas, remote construction sites and other similar locations, and is particularly suited to transportation of humanitarian goods to rural areas.
Aliaksei Stratsilatau, CEO and Lead Developer of UAVOS, commented: “UAVOS has vast experience with converting manned aircraft into unmanned platforms of both helicopter and fixed-wing types. We see conversion program opportunities as an answer to a global need in the UAV delivery market for the high lift capacity platforms which meet requirements of reducing emissions, low prices of shipping, creating a safer system for delivery, and delivering rapidly in out-of-the-way locations.”
“We see lots of benefits of traditional aircraft converted into UAV. The converted aircraft are a cost-effective alternative to developing new UAV. Among other things, the CH-7 helicopter we have used for conversion is aviation certified. The key to success in converted UVH-500 is also to be found in availability of the spare parts and basic technician training programmes.”