Italy’s International Aviation Supply (IAS) plans to fly an unmanned version of the Sky Arrow general aviation aircraft within the next 12 months under a partnership with the Hungarian defence ministry, says company president Teodoro Grasso.

Intended mainly for coastal and border surveillance applications, the Rotax 912-powered aircraft is being modified by HI Aero, a company owned 60% by Brindisi-based IAS and 40% by Hungary’s defence ministry.

“We have signed an agreement for exclusive rights to develop the ultra-light Sky Arrow into a UAV,” says Grasso.

The company hopes to fly the modified aircraft for the first time in October/November 2006, when Grasso says it will be presented to the market.

The 9.7m (31.8ft)-span Sky Arrow U has a maximum take-off weight of 450kg (990lb) including a 100kg payload and is expected to have an endurance of over 8h at altitudes up to 18,000ft.


Source: Flight International