News Item

Unmanned flight trialled in UK airspace

A Jetstream aircraft became the first to fly unmanned across UK shared airspace last month.

An on board pilot handled the take-off, from Warton, near Preston in Lancashire, and landing, in Inverness.

But during the 500-mile journey, the specially adapted plane was controlled by a pilot on the ground, instructed by the National Air Traffic Services.

There were no passengers, but the 16-seater aircraft flew in airspace shared with passenger carriers.

Known as the Flying Testbed, it contains on board sensors and robotics to identify and avoid hazards.

National Air Traffic Services unmanned air vehicle (UAV) expert Andrew Chapman said: 'Nats ensured that this test flight was held without any impact on the safety of other users of airspace at the time.'

  • 13 May 2013
  • CMAG

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