Dec 5, 2023
Sensor solution provider HENSOLDT and the Dutch company Wings For Aid have entered into a strategic partnership. The aim of the two-stage cooperation is to improve the air safety of cargo drones. Wings For Aid has developed the “MiniFreighter”, a 650-kg Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) that delivers humanitarian goods to people isolated by natural disasters and man-made crises.
In the first phase, these cargo drones will be equipped with the "SferiRec LCR 100" flight data recorder. Equipped with this, the drone will have a significantly improved recording capability of the flight attitude data and the flight control system. The drone has already completed successful flight tests at various locations, including Magdeburg-Cochstedt airfield. This is home to the DLR's National Test Centre for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, one of Wings For Aid’s partners.
In a possible second step, further technical upgrades will be added to increase aircraft autonomy and improve the Wings For Aid flight test capability as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and global system provider. The operational data collected from test and flight missions up to that point can be used directly for this purpose. Capabilities such as "Detect and Avoid" (DAA) and the improvement of the Drop Zone Safety Automation System should then ensure that the operational range is increased and the workload of the pilot-operator is significantly reduced. This is essential to scale up so-called BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) flights with multiple aircraft.
"We are very proud to be making a contribution that will enable relief supplies to be transported to crisis areas even faster and more cost-effectively in the future," says Steffen Kolditz, Head of the Airborne Solutions business unit at HENSOLDT.