Skydweller Aero Inc., an aerospace company developing solar-powered aircraft for defense and commercial industries, today announced the successful completion of its first autonomous flight test demonstrations utilizing the company’s new proprietary fly-by-wire (FBW) actuation control system. Having met the criteria for safety-critical operations by the Spanish Civil Airworthiness Authority (AESA), Skydweller’s test pilot passively rode along on-board, validating both the successful transformation from mechanical to human-rated FBW actuation and the successful integration of full authority autonomous control capability.
This series of flight tests conclude the initial validation of the aircraft’s mechanical transformation from a piloted vehicle to a redundant FBW system flown from take-off to landing without any pilot input. The system demonstrates the basis and airworthiness approval for the high-reliability redundant flight control architecture, significantly decreasing remaining technical risk and accelerating Skydweller’s time-to-market.
“Our approach and speed of execution is based on our team’s collective experience designing and developing advanced autonomous platforms. These significant technical accomplishments propel us toward our ultimate goal of perpetual flight,” said CEO Dr. Robert Miller. “Given the proven history of the airframe and this validation of our successful transformation from a piloted aircraft to an autonomous platform, Skydweller is prepared to demonstrate the aircraft’s operational utility.”
The aircraft’s unique technical characteristics and design implementation provide the necessary levels of redundancy in its autonomous Vehicle Management System (VMS) required to deliver unprecedented utility based on its payload capacity and available power. Multiple levels of redundancy will enable customers to launch multi-month missions which will revolutionize both commercial and government operations.
Skydweller now sets its sights on additional technology maturation for payload demonstrations that will lead towards the company’s first fully autonomous and unmanned flight.
About Skydweller Aero Inc.
Skydweller Aero Inc. is a cutting-edge aerospace company developing solar powered aircraft solutions capable of achieving perpetual flight with heavy, and powerful payload capacity. Utilizing technology based upon the longest continuous renewably powered flight program in history, this fast-growing startup is developing a new class of unmanned aircraft, providing the persistence of geosynchronous satellites with the powerful sensing capabilities and the flexibility of a large, airborne platform. Skydweller Aero Inc. has World and US headquarters in Oklahoma City and European offices headquartered in Spain.
With a flexible payload system, including communications relay, 4G/5G cellular, day/night full motion video, satellite communication, imaging radar, and more, Skydweller will enhance commercial and government telecommunication, geospatial, meteorological, and emergency operation efforts around the world, allowing customers to operate persistently in more challenging areas for longer durations while reducing environmental impact. For more information about Skydweller, visit www.skydweller.aero.