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Targus makes first flights with 'hands off' pilots
Sunday, 19 July 2020
Indra's Targus is based on the Tecnam P2006T, but adapted to fly piloted, autonomously or remotely controlled, and aimed at the civil surveillance market. Development should be completed this year.

Indra has completed the first test flights of its Targus Optionally Manned Aircraft (OPV) and so has overcome one of the critical milestones of the Civil UAVs Initiative, promoted by the Xunta de Galicia to make the Spanish region a benchmark for this industry. The company has carried out a series of experimental flights in non-segregated airspace with a 1.25-ton drone measuring 11 metres in wingspan.

No other newly developed UAV had previously obtained permission to perform flights like these, the company says, which marks a milestone for Spanish aviation and represents a step forward for the development of this sector.

The first of them took place on June 24 and with it began a series of tests that have spanned the past two weeks. All of them were carried out under the Flight Conditions approved by the European Agency for Aviation Safety (EASA) and with the Flight Permit issued by the Spanish State Agency for Aviation Safety (AESA) that authorises their experimentation.

A special communication protocol was also established with the air traffic control of the Santiago de Compostela airport.

Aboard the Targus, the test pilot undertook the takeoff and, once in the air, ceded command of the aircraft to the ground control station.

The Indra and Gaerum engineers were in charge of verifying that all the flight control systems and sensors were working correctly. The strategy of developing a drone that can take a pilot in the cockpit, take command or cede control to the ground station as appropriate, is said to have allowed this project to move forward at enormous speed.

It is also a great operational advantage for future users, who will be able to fly over urban areas or land in airports without restrictions on a manned basis and fly without a pilot upon arrival in the area of operations. This dual use greatly enhances the commercial appeal and capabilities of the Targus, says Indra.

Contact details from our directory:
Indra Sistemas, S.A. Airframer, Engineering Design Services, Radar Receivers
Ingenieria Gaerum Automatic Flight Control Systems, Flight Testing
Related aircraft programs:
Tecnam P2006T