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Isarel's Urban Aeronautics has completed initial testing of its AirMule VTOL cargo/medevac UAV, demonstrating autonomous hovers with the fly-by-wire system providing autostabilization.Photo: Urban AeronauticsUrban says the tethered hovers, about 2ft off the ground, showed the control system's ability to stabilize the vehicle in all three axes using inertial measurements augmented by GPS and two laser altimeters. The next phase of flight tests will be untethered and will include horizontal and vertical position stabilization.The AirMule is powered by a 730shp Turbomeca Arriel I turboshaft driving fore and aft ducted rotors. Urban says the initial tests show the vane system used for roll and yaw control will, with planned improvements, allow the production vehicle to hover with high precision in winds gusting up to 50kt.The Israeli Defence Force has indicated interest in the AirMule as a unmanned medevac vehicle with its ability to operate in urban environments because the rotors are safely shielded.Concept: Urban Aeronautics
sr99, UAV, VTOL
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