Urban Aeronautics begins Panda flight testing

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Urban Aeronautics has begun forward flight testing of its Panda unmanned fancraft, following a series of tests limited to hover and slow flight to gather data on the on the effectiveness of its patented vane control system.

According to president Rafi Yoeli, the data from the forward flight testing will be used to verify the vehicle's maximum attainable cruise speed as well as its planned endurance and range. The data from the Panda's flight testing is also being used to design Urban Aeronautics' Mule logistic support fancraft, which is a larger version of Panda designed mainly for frontline forces' resupply and medical evacuation missions. The Mule's first flight is expected in April 2009.

Panda UAV
 © Urban Aeronautics

The Panda is 1.5m (4.9ft) long and 0.8m wide. It has a maximum take-off weight of 14kg (30.8lb), which includes a 1.5kg useful payload.