UAS flight test for safety and for efficiency
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UAS flight test for safety and for efficiency

Filetype[PDF-264.76 KB]

  • English

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    • NTL Classification:
      NTL-AVIATION-AVIATION;NTL-AVIATION-Aviation Safety/Airworthiness;
    • Abstract:
      Manned aircraft that operate in the National Airspace System (NAS) typically undergo certification flight test to ensure they meet a prescribed level of safety—dependent on their category—before they are able to enter service [for example, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) advisory circular (AC) 25-7C is the flight-test guide for certification of transport-category airplanes]. With the integration of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the NAS, in the future some type of certification flight test may ultimately be required, however, even lacking such a requirement UAS manufacturers can find value in flight testing UASs using familiar experimental and certification flight- test procedures, the results of which can enhance the safety of the design, the safety of the operation, and/or the efficiency of the operation. In this paper, selected applications of flight-test procedures to the development and operation of UASs are demonstrated using a rotorcraft UAS (a multirotor) and a surrogate for a fixed-wing UAS. The limited, selected flight tests shown here reveal areas for design improvements to potentially enhance safety, provide insights into UAS and manned-aircraft equipage differences, enable potentially safer operational flight profiles, and facilitate more- efficient flight regimes (e.g., optimal flight profiles to maximize a UAS’s flight time). These sample studies show promise for the use of conventional flight-test techniques in the design of UAS flight procedures and in the design of the UAS itself.
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