M3 Systems, air traffic management (ATM) and unmanned aerial systems UAS) operator, light and electric aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel and eVTOL company Volocopter report they have completed their first joint flight test campaign in France at Pontoise airfield at part of a CORUS-XUAM Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) programme.
According to a Volocopter press release:
“The week-long flight tests simulated three different avoidance maneuvers in real-world situations where unforeseen circumstances occur, such as a complete airport or vertiport closure, an unavailable final approach and takeoff (FATO) area, and traffic deconfliction. This joint campaign between the three companies and the French partners, Groupe ADP and its wholly-owned subsidiary Hologarde, aimed to achieve smooth interaction within and between the new lower airspace’s unmanned traffic management (UTM) and standard civil aviation ATM systems.
M3 Systems, Pipistrel, and Volocopter all completed individual flight test campaigns prior to this event in order to bring their aircraft in line with U-space service, says the release/. The CORUS-XUAM flight test conducted at Pontoise airfield near Paris is the third of several flight tests to simulate a variety of real-world scenarios that demonstrate how UTM and ATM intersect with multiple aircraft types.
“The successful flight tests at Pontoise airfield were conducted with M3 System’s BOREAL remotely piloted aircraft system, Pipistrel’s crewed Velis Electro, the only type-certified electric aircraft in commercial service in the world, and Volocopter’s full-scale, remotely piloted 2X prototype. Pipistrel uses the conventional ATM tower and system while Volocopter and M3 Systems use the UTM system. The following three flight scenarios were tested:
* The unexpected occupancy of a FATO and aircraft diversion due to priority landing of another aircraft – Pipistrel and Volocopter aircraft.
* The diversion of a flight path due to the closure of an airport or vertiport – M3 Systems.
* The diversion of a flight path with two aircraft flying the same path – M3 Systems and Volocopter aircraft.
This project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No. 101017682.
(Image: Volocopter and Pipistrel)