#HE11: AgustaWestland developing optionally manned demonstrator

SW4 RUAV.JPG

AgustaWestland CEO Giuseppe Orsi has revealed that the company is building an optionally manned helicopter demonstrator based on its PZL SW-4 light single.

“We believe that sooner rather than later unmanned helicopters will be a reality,” said Orsi at AgustaWestland’s press conference at the HAI conference in Orlando this evening (5 March), The picture of the “RUAV” above was taken from Orsi’s on-screen presentation.  

The Polish-built, five-seat SW-4 is a powered by a single Rolls-Royce 250 turboshaft engine and is the lightest offering in AgustaWestland’s product line. 

Orsi says the aircraft will fly in autonomous mode with a pilot on board in 2012, followed by an unmanned demonstration flight by the end of 2012.

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