Aeronautics Defense Systems has launched a series of test flights in southern Israel with a prototype of its Dominator 2 unmanned air vehicle concept.
The first sorties involving the aircraft lasted between 2h and 4h, says Aeronautics, which has converted an all-composite Diamond DA42 twin-engined general aviation aircraft for unmanned applications. The company has dubbed the UAV "Oz", referring to the Hebrew word for courage.
Powered by two Thielert diesel engines, the unmanned DA42 can be equipped with a variety of payloads weighing up to 400kg (880lb). The aircraft - carrying the experimental registration 4X-UAG - is pictured carrying a dummy turret for an electro-optical/infrared sensor.
All images © Aeronautics Defense Systems
Aeronautics president Avi Leumi says the initial test flights have been successful. "We have achieved all our initial goals," he adds.
The Dominator 2 has a maximum take-off weight of 2,000kg, an operating ceiling of 30,000ft (9,150m) and a top speed of 190kt (351km/h). The UAV is expected to deliver a mission endurance of 28h.