08 September 2023
by Richard Scott
The HCMC air vehicle on the deck of HMS
Prince of Wales
The UK Royal Navy (RN) and W Autonomous Systems have completed a proof-of-concept activity designed to demonstrate the operation of a fixed-wing cargo-carrying unmanned aircraft system (UAS) from the flight deck of a Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier.
Performed on 5 September, the trial saw a W Autonomous Systems’ HCMC short take-off landing (STOL) air vehicle take off from Predannack Airfield on the Lizard peninsula, complete a 20-minute transit out to HMS Prince of Wales off the Cornish coast, and execute a short non-arrested landing on the ship’s flight deck. A symbolic payload was removed, and a new package loaded, before the UAS performed a short take-off to return to Predannack.
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