Airbus Helicopters advances VSR700 shipborne UAV development

Airbus Helicopters is set to conduct the first fully unmanned flight demonstration of its Optionally Piloted Vehicle (OPV) by the end of June, Jane’s has learned.
The OPV is a modified Hélicoptères Guimbal Cabri G light helicopter being used to develop the control laws for the VSR700, a vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial vehicle (VTOL UAV) aimed at meeting a future French Navy shipborne UAV requirement called the Système de Drone Aérien pour la Marine (SDAM).
The OPV is being readied for its first fully unmanned flight by the end of June.Photo by: Frédéric Lert
The air vehicle – which is equipped with a 155hp Continental CD-155 heavy fuel piston engine and low vibration three-blade main rotor – has logged 70 flying hours with a safety pilot on board since May 2017.