The Israeli developed AirMule, an unmanned VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) aircraft developed by the Israeli company Urban Aeronautics successfully completed a major milestone in preparation for full mission demonstrations scheduled for next year. In the recent weeks the aircraft has completed several fully automatic test flights in which it carried out take-offs, flights to and from a specified location and landing back at its point of origination.
The 1-ton unmanned vehicle is unique from other vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft in that it has no exposed rotors. The vehicle uses two ducted fans powered by a Turbomeca Arriel turboshaft engine. This allows the aircraft to fly in densely vegetated and urban airspace that is off limits for any other aircraft. The autonomous testing also include the use of a sensor and marker used for the designation of the landing point. The marker is placed by the ground element at the landing point.
During final approach the sensors are estimating the position of the marker relative to the aircraft, providing reference for the flight control plan executing an autonomous final approach for landing next to the marker. […]