Reliable Robotics Makes History with First Unmanned Large Cargo Aircraft Flight
Reliable Robotics, a leader in aircraft automation systems, has achieved a significant milestone in its work to bring advanced safety-enhancing technologies to market in the United States.
The successful flight of a Cessna 208B Caravan with no one on board was a first for aviation. A remote pilot supervised the uncrewed aircraft from Reliable’s control center 50 miles away.
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The Reliable autonomous flight system enables the aircraft to be remotely operated by a pilot on the ground and improves safety by fully automating the aircraft through all phases of operation including taxi, takeoff and landing.
Reliable’s system is aircraft agnostic and utilizes multiple layers of redundancy and advanced navigation technology to achieve the levels of integrity and reliability necessary for uncrewed flight.
The system will prevent controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) and loss of control in flight (LOC-I), which account for the majority of fatal aviation accidents.
The Cessna Caravan is designed and manufactured by Textron Aviation Inc. Reliable Robotics has been collaborating with Textron Aviation, which includes the Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker brands, and Textron eAviation focused on sustainable flying.
Textron Aviation has delivered more than 3,000 Caravans, proving it to be the world’s most popular turboprop utility aircraft.
“Textron Aviation is committed to delivering continuous aviation improvements and our relationship with Reliable Robotics advances this work,” said Chris Hearne, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Programs, Textron Aviation.
The Caravan, and other regional cargo aircraft like it, serve an essential role connecting communities and businesses across the United States and around the globe.
With a useful load of over 3,000 pounds, and a take-off performance to operate from shorter runways, these aircraft deliver time-sensitive shipments to many places that would otherwise not have next-day or same-day service. Remote piloting will allow even more areas to benefit from this critical service.