The Eagle is the smallest and slowest aircraft flying in this year's display, but the UAV from IAI/EADS could be the most significant.

It's the first time a UAV has been flown at a major international airshow and marks a coming-of-age of sorts for unmanned aerial vehicles.

The Eagle, whose 15min routine leads off the daily displays, is an operational multi-role UAV system which combines the long experience in UAVs of Israel Aircraft Industries' Malat division, and the EADS capability in electronic surveillance systems.

The fact that the Eagle has been cleared to fly is one of the big surprises at this year's Asian Aerospace. Until now, no major airshow organiser has been willing to take the risk because of the notably poor safety records - crashes have been a major issue - of major UAV operators, including the US and UK armed forces.

No global or national airworthiness certification standard exists for UAVs. But IAI/EADS and Asian Aerospace organisers say UAV technology has developed to a point where they were willing, and able, to take the risk in a controlled environment.


Source: Flight Daily News