Israeli-made AirMule UAV performs first untethered flight

By Richard Tomkins   |   Jan. 5, 2016 at 3:38 PM
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YAVNE, Israel, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- A new Israeli-made VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle has performed its first untethered flight following months of delay caused by a ground incident.

The vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft is the AirMule by Tactical Robots Ltd., a subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics Ltd., and flew from the Megiddo Airfield in Northern Israel late last month.

The aircraft can carry a 1,400 pound payload. It has a maximum speed of 100 knots, an endurance of five hours.

"The testing schedule in Megiddo includes plans for a demonstration of AirMule's cargo delivery capability as well as a beyond-the-line-of-sight flight along a path running through an adjacent, forested area," Tactical Robots said. "All in all, we expect that in 2016 we will finally be able to demonstrate some of AirMule's unique capabilities.

"Additionally, we achieved 'category 2' certification [from Israeli authorities] for an export variant of the aircraft known as 'Cormorant', under the international Missile Technology Control Regime, an important element in the eventual marketing of the aircraft."

The UAV was involved in a ground incident last year, which delayed its flight testing, the company said, and while repairs were being performed improvements were made to its flight systems.

Additional details, however, were not disclosed.

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