Military-airworthiness nod given to Reliable Robotics RPANews
January 30, 2024
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. Autonomous aircraft company Reliable Robotics obtained military airworthiness approval to begin flight testing and operational missions of its remotely piloted Cessna 208 Caravan for the U.S. Air Force, a milestone that will enable it to demonstrate dual-use automated flight capabilities for military use cases, including cargo missions.
The Reliable Robotics announcement of the approval of its remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) says that to deem aircraft/air systems owned, leased, operated, used, designed, or modified for Air Force applications as able to use for military uses, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) requires the craft to pass an assessment in accordance with Air Force standards. In order to meet these requirements, Reliable completed a comprehensive safety analysis, maintenance and operational evaluations, and testing of the automated flight technologies. This airworthiness achievement was a key milestone of the contract Reliable Robotics had with the U.S. government's Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
“Nothing compares to showcasing how our autonomous flight capabilities will immediately enable new ways for the U.S. Air Force and other departments of the military to lead with innovation, improve safety and project power across the globe,” said Dr. David O’Brien, Major General (Ret.), and Senior Vice President of Government Solutions at Reliable Robotics.
Hank “Hog” Griffiths, AFWERX Airworthiness and Test Lead, said of the appraoval: “Our AFWERX partners are developing exciting automation technologies through robust engineering and flight test campaigns. The technology is maturing rapidly and this airworthiness approval for a certified aircraft retrofitted with an autonomous flight system provides significant opportunities for the military.”