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19 under FAA Part 107 regulations with a 20 lb payload and a gross weight of 55 lb. Once the control laws had been developed and demonstrated in flight on the APT-20, she explains, they were transferred to the APT- 70 for further flight testing. While control of a tail-sitter – or any aircraft that has to transition from vertical to horizontal flight and back using the same powerplants and propellers – is inevitably complex and sensitive, Andrews’ employer has decades of experience here. “Bell is not unfamiliar with transitional flight,” she emphasises. “We’ve done a lot of that with the tiltrotors, and examined many other types of hybrid vehicles over the years.” Comms about comms Regarding the SIO effort, Andrews highlights the importance of ongoing communication with the regulators over airworthiness documentation. She also stresses the critical importance of being able to explain clearly to the civil certification authorities exactly what the vehicle is capable of doing, and how those capabilities contribute to its safety and airworthiness. One area that brings this issue to the fore is that of requesting comms spectrum coordination from the FAA, which has to put the case to the US Federal Communications Commission – the ultimate authority over the use of radio spectrum in the US. It is a process in which documents known as certificates of waiver or authorisation, habitually called COAs, are pivotal. “We had sent the request to the FAA for spectrum before we had filed the COA, and we weren’t seeing any movement on it,” she recalls. “Through our work with NASA and other conversations that we had, however, we came to understand that the FAA wanted to know more about the flight area in which we would be using the vehicle, and the fail-safes the aircraft has to cope with a loss of C2.” Providing the FAA with a COA that explained that got things moving again. Risk reduction and manned aircraft “We’ve completed most of our preliminary and critical design reviews,” Andrews says. “We are in the middle of our risk reduction testing, and are currently building the aircraft and completing the integration.” The focus of the risk reduction testing is on the component level. “We are using a manned helicopter with the sensors on it to prove out the system,” she explains. That is intended to make sure the sensors are seeing what they are expected to see and that they are communicating properly. “Using a manned asset gives us the ability to spend more time in the air and get more hours on the system in a shorter period of time.” The schedule calls for completion of the project in the summer, and it will be deemed to be complete once the APT-70 has flown around the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex area, into and out of controlled airspace. Unmanned Systems Technology | April/May 2020 With the title of Engineer IV within Bell’s Innovation Team, Jennifer Andrews serves as the company’s project lead for the NASA Systems Integration and Operationalization (SIO) effort. She took up that position in March 2017, reporting to her supervisor Andrea Chavez and APT programme manager John Wittmaak. Educated at Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood, Arkansas, she went on to study aerospace engineering at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, earning a Bachelor of Science in the subject in 1996. While studying, she also worked as an intern at Aerospace Controls Corporation, contributing to position encoder systems for the Mars Global Surveyor mission and the MSTAR man-portable surveillance and target acquisition radar. During that time, she was also a researcher for the National Science Foundation and a student computer technician. In this latter role she developed and coded online assistance for engineering students at the university. Joining Lockheed Martin in early 1997, Andrews designed control surfaces, fixed edges and composite repair schemes for the F-22 Raptor before moving on to aerodynamic work on the C-130 Hercules. Arriving at Bell in January 2000, she served as a preliminary design engineer and, among other tasks, conducted drag and performance analysis for helicopters, tiltrotors and UAVs. In 2002, she moved on to aircraft-handling qualities and contributed to improvements in the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor’s performance and handling qualities model, for example. From 2004 to 2008 she was involved in conceptual design, working on helicopter components and quad-tiltrotor studies, for example. She earned a ‘black belt’ in the Six Sigma process improvement system in 2010 before moving on to a technical lead position in competitive analysis engineering. Andrews recently joined the Women In Drones organisation, which she describes as “a very positive way that women can come together within the UAV industry, find role models and engage with the leadership”. Jennifer D Andrews