ROME, Italy, 12 Jan. 2009.SELEX Galileo, a Finmeccanica company, announced the successful launch, flight, and landing of the Falco unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) from a pneumatic catapult. The launch took place last month at the Cheshnegirovo air base in Bulgaria.
During the trials Falco was projected for heavy duty operations to give an appropriate structural viewpoint. All phases of the flight were executed automatically (launch, air flight, and landing) further verifying the dynamic qualities of the unmanned aircraft as previewed at the simulation at the RIG. The conditions of the launch of the UAV from the catapult were optimal and Falco has now regularly completed the mission in accordance with the preset flight plan.
The successful demonstration comes after a preliminary campaign of integration and trials carried out in Finland, during which various mock-up launches were carried out to validate the system in all the aircraft's configurations and associated weights.
The catapult launch allows the Falco to be operated where no airstrip is available, satisfying the complete range of operational requirements. The Falco's undercarriage and airframe, currently operating satisfactorily by an international customer, were designed for a safe automatic take off and landing on semi-prepared airstrips.