Ankara's ambitions to field an indigenous medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft system (UAS) have been advanced, with flight tests of Turkish Aerospace Industries' (TAI) Anka having entered a new phase.
The company has announced that its Anka prototype completed its fifth flight on 22 October, "marking the beginning of the envelope expansion process". This will demonstrate the aircraft's performance at various altitudes, speeds and weights, TAI said.
First flown on 30 December 2010, the Anka reached an altitude of 10,000ft (3,050m) during its latest sortie, which tested the design's autopilot.
© Turkish Aerospace Industries
"Over the next few flights, the expansion will be completed and the test campaign will continue with demonstrations of a series of systems improvements, including the automatic take-off and landing system," the Turkish company said.
Previous information released about the Anka ("Phoenix") has described it as having a maximum take-off weight of 1,600kg (3,530lb), including a 200kg payload. It is designed to stay aloft for up to 24 hours, and to fly at an altitude of up to 30,000ft.