Unmanned Systems Technology 016 | Hydromea Vertex AUV | Power management systems | Unmanned Space Vehicles | Continental CD-155 turbodiesel | Swift 020 UAV | ECUs | DSEI 2017 Show report

6 Mission-critical info for UST professionals Platform one October/November 2017 | Unmanned Systems Technology Volocopter’s electrically driven VTOL taxi has taken its first flight in Dubai, beating its competitor eHang to the first public demonstration of the technology (writes Nick Flaherty). The eight-propeller platform nominally carries two people, although the maximum payload is 160 kg, with a maximum range of 27 km (17 miles) at 70 kph (43 mph) or a flight time of 27 minutes at 50 kph. It has multiple redundancy in all critical components such as the propellers, motors, power source, electronics, flight control and displays linked by a plastic fibre mesh network. Although the craft is controlled by a joystick, it can also operate autonomously. By 2030, Dubai aims to be meeting 25% of its passenger transportation needs with autonomous systems. Meanwhile eHang is demonstrating its 184 platform in the UK, and has signed up DPM Engineering as a partner. DPM will start by handling repairs but is looking at assembling the systems at its Nottingham factory. The four-rotor 184 carries a single passenger and has a flight time of up to 25 minutes. eHang is also working with a US start- up called Lung Biotechnology, which will buy up to 1000 units of a version of the 184 to automate the delivery of organs for transplant. The two companies will work together over the next year on what they are calling the Manufactured Organ Transport Helicopter system. Airborne vehicles VTOL taxi makes demo first The Volocopter is controlled by a joystick but can also operate autonomously