InnovaeroFOX has advanced to the next stage of its test flight program — successfully completing a series of challenging flight tests on schedule.
The Australian-made Maritime Unmanned Aerial System (MUAS) has faced a series of tests at 40 per cent scale involving the execution of short, controlled circuits at varying speeds and airframe configuration settings. This follows previous hover tests of the 30 per cent scale Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) system in November 2020.
The latest series of flight tests — part of an ongoing program in the lead up to trials at full-scale of the 8-metre wingspan InnovaeroFOX — have provided valuable data for the vehicle’s operating envelope, Innovaero says.
Full-scale testing of FOX FTA-1 (VTOL) and FOX FTA-2 (Conventional Take-off and Landing) platforms will occur later this year.
"The ongoing success of InnovaeroFOX trials is further proof of the mettle of the vehicle and the culmination of more than two (2) years of privately funded research, development and innovation," the company said in a statement.
InnovaeroFOX was conceived in response to Defence’s Maritime UAS Continuous Development program, which aims to deliver enhanced situational awareness through the acquisition of maritime unmanned intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting aircraft systems.
On 26 March, the Innovaero team hosted a visit by WA Defence Advocate Rear Admiral (Rtd) Raydon Gates, who offered 'high praise' for the new facilities and Innovaero personnel, particularly acknowledging their 'expertise across all the airborne assets.'
“It is pleasing that the InnovaeroFOX is generating so much interest — particularly from major defence industry participants associated with Sea 129-5 — who recognise the company has a unique, home- grown capability, that has already generated significant export sales, and has encouraging growth potential,” Innovaero’s Group CEO, Simon Grosser said.
“Whilst FOX is still in the developmental phase, we have a proven track record of aeronautical commercialisation success, and that has already led to a number of promising discussions with defence primes regarding potential collaboration opportunities," Grosser said.
Full scale hover tests are currently underway in the lead-up to the official launch at the Avalon Airshow between 30 November and 5 December 2021.