10 Nov 16. New, More Flexible CO2 Parachute Deployment System Introduced for Drones. Fruity Chutes announced the availability of the new Hawk CO2 release valve today. The valve is for use with the Peregrine UAV Ballistic Parachute Launcher for Drone and UAV parachute recovery. Gene Engelgau, CEO of Fruity Chutes, stated “We have been selling the Peregrine UAV Ballistic Parachute system for some time with the Raptor CO2 release. However the Raptor CO2 release uses a small pyrotechnic charge to fire a piercing pin into the CO2 canister. It works well and dumps the CO2 gas very quickly. But pyrotechnics are not available in many countries.” Even where they are allowed pyro consumables cannot be shipped without hazmat handling and that can be a big problem. In some countries these consumables cannot be obtained by any means. Gene continues, “The new Hawk valve is completely mechanical and uses no regulated consumables.”
The design goal of the Hawk valve was to match the high-speed performance of the Raptor Pyro valve and not require any pyro consumables. The Hawk valve uses a high-energy compression spring and piston that pierces the CO2 cartridge with the largest possible hole. The CO2 gas is dumped from the cylinder in a fraction of a second and rapidly pressurizes the parachute canister. This ejects the parachute at high velocity. Initial units of the Hawk CO2 Release valve will be available mid-December 2016. (Source: Yahoo!/PRNewswire)
09 Nov 16. Israeli navy considers deploying new UAV type on corvettes. ESTOL UAVs are being evaluated as the Israeli navy continues to define what aerial systems it will deploy on-board its four new Saar 6 corvettes and existing SAAR 5 missile vessels. The ESTOL UAV will be based on propulsive lift technology that will enable it to take off from a very small platform on the navy ship. The idea has previously been evaluated for commercial aircraft but in recent years it has been considered for use in UAVs.
Israeli sources said “some very interesting ideas” were being evaluated, but no decision is expected before the end of 2017.
Advanced Programs Group (APG) is one company that is developing this type of UAV, and has performed successful test flights with a scaled-down prototype.
The full-scale ESTOL UAV developed by this company will take off from a 2m surface and have a maximum take-off weight of 500kg (1,100lb), including a 200kg payload. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Flightglobal)
09 Nov 16. Germany begins Heron 1 UAV operations in Mali. The German military contingent in Mali’s first Heron 1 medium altitude long endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) unit performed its first operational flight on 1 November from its base of Gao.
The Bundeswehr announced the flight lasted close to six hours and had shown excellent results, but added that there was still a lot of work to be done before the Heron squadron is fully established in Mali.
The UAV capability is being provided by Airbus DS Airborne Solutions (ADAS), a subsidiary of Airbus Defence and Space, which signed a contract with the German Defence Procurement Agency in July to provide three such UAVs as well as maintenance and overhaul services as part of the Bundeswehr’s contribution to the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The contract covers operations until February 2018, at which point it will be extended or the aircraft withdrawn. Airbus DS is leasing the Herons from their manufacturer Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). This arrangement is similar to the one implemented in Afghanistan to support the Bundeswehr contribution to the International Security Assistance Mission (ISAF). The first equipment for the Heron deployment arrived in Mali in early September and the first test flight was carried out on 29 October. The Heron unit comprises 10 Bundeswehr personnel and civilian operators contracted by ADAS. The unit is operating as part of MINUSMA’s All Sources Informati