Aeronautics is evaluating the conversion of additional manned aircraft for unmanned operations, with a company source describing the effort as part of a new strategy adopted as part of its restructuring.

Adapting a certificated manned aerial platform for unmanned missions is a way of offering the market a "very reliable, cost-effective UAS", a company source says.

In the meantime, the Israeli company is marketing its Dominator XP – a Diamond DA42 twin-engined aircraft adapted for unmanned operations. "This is currently one of our main products, and we see a big potential market for it," the source says.

Dominator - Aeronautics


The first export contract for the Dominator XP was signed in mid-2011, shortly after the system was cleared for export by the Israeli defence ministry. Adapted to comply with international Missile Technology Control Regime limitations, the aircraft can achieve an endurance of 30h, and is capable of carrying a 300kg (660lb) payload. Maximum altitude is 30,000ft (9,140m) with a top speed of 190kt (352km/h).

One Dominator XP is currently operated by Canadian company CAE in Alma, Quebec.

Aeronautics and CAE are demonstrating how unmanned systems can be used for commercial applications, such as the remote inspection of pipelines and hydroelectric installations, surveillance of forest fires, observation of critical natural resources and assessing natural disasters.

Source: Flight International