Uncrewed Systems Technology 051 l Primoco One 150 l Power management l Ocius Bluebottle USV l Steel E-Motive robotaxi l UAVs insight l Xponential 2023 p Issue 51 Aug/Sept 2023 art 2 l Aant Farm TPR72 l Servos l Tampa Deep Sea Barracuda AUV

24 To invest time and resources in developing a UAV weighing 150 kg purely out of a passion for aviation might seem like madness. To do so anyway, and make one of the most successful and highly certified autonomous aircraft flying some of the most dangerous missions on Earth might be branded as the madness of genius. That though is what Czech entrepreneur and aviator Ladislav Semetkovsky has done since founding Primoco in 2015. He had previously been a private pilot but longed to design and produce an aircraft of his own. Primoco principally targeted pipeline inspections as its entry market; many commented at the time that UAVs were bound to replace helicopters there. But as military and civil certifications soon became higher priorities, he and his team agreed that it made no sense to market a UAV unless flying it was not only legal but straightforward in terms of the authorisations required. As Jakub Fojtik, VP of business development at Primoco, recounts, “It was originally planned as a 50 kg UAV, but the concept was iterated into bigger and bigger versions, until it reached the present 150 kg.” Taking its name from its MTOW, the Primoco One 150 is a fixed-wing craft with a 4.85 m wingspan, a 30 kg payload capacity and up to 15 hours of flight. Its powertrain and aerodynamics enable a top speed of 150 kph, an operating range Rory Jackson looks at how making this UAV comply with a raft of NATO standards is paying dividends in its use for military missions Cleared for take -off