M3 Systems, Pipistrel and Volocopter carry out aerial tests in France

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The flight test is the third of several to simulate a variety of real-world scenarios that demonstrate how UTM and ATM intersect with multiple aircraft types.

M3 Systems, Pipistrel and Volocopter have completed their first joint flight test campaign in France at Pontoise airfield.

The week-long flight tests simulated three different evasive maneuvers in real-life situations where unforeseen circumstances occur, such as a complete airport or vertiport closure, final approach, and drop zone. takeoff unavailable and a deconfliction of traffic.

M3 Systems was born out of GNSS engineering activities and air traffic management (ATM) consulting activities, including for unmanned aircraft. M3 has played a role in defining the Galileo signal, among other projects for the various European space agencies. Pipstrel is a light aircraft manufacturer specializing in electric propulsion, and Volocopter specializes in urban air mobility (UAM) systems.

The joint campaign between the three companies – along with French partners Groupe ADP and its subsidiary Hologarde – aimed to ensure seamless interaction within and between the new lower airspace’s unmanned traffic management (UTM) and the industry’s standard ATM systems. ‘civil Aviation.

The Boréal system is a fixed-wing UAV with high endurance and high payload capacity. (Photo: M3 Systems)

The aviation industry is experiencing a surge in innovation driven by technology and societal pressure for new forms of aviation focused on sustainable, digital and autonomous air mobility. The resulting solutions will generate a significant increase in traffic density in the lower airspace.

Since legacy ATM systems are not designed to handle such volumes or digitization, coordinating existing and new traffic management systems for the integration of brand new aircraft will ensure efficient operations at scale. This includes commercial, general aircraft and drones for cargo and passenger flights, manned or unmanned.

The CORUS-XUAM project, funded by the EU initiative Single European Sky ATM Research (SESAR) Joint Undertaking, focuses on solving the challenge of integrating conventional and new traffic management systems and consists of of 19 partners and 11 third parties. M3 Systems, Pipistrel and Volocopter all performed individual flight test campaigns prior to this event to bring their aircraft into compliance with U-space services.

A week of flight testing ended with an open house and presentations.  (Photo: M3 Mobility)

A week of flight testing ended with an open house and presentations. (Photo: M3 Mobility)

The CORUS-XUAM flight test performed at Pontoise aerodrome near Paris is the third of several flight tests aimed at simulating a variety of real-world scenarios that demonstrate how UTM and ATM intersect with several types of planes.

Additionally, the CORUS-XUAM project will continue to proactively test and create safe and controlled lower airspace as part of the European Union’s ambitious Single European Sky (SES) initiative throughout 2022.

Successful flight tests at Pontoise aerodrome were conducted with the Boreal remotely piloted aircraft system from M3 System, the crewed Velis Electro from Pipistrel, the only type-certified electric aircraft in commercial service in the world, and the prototype 2X full-scale unmanned Volocopter. Pipistrel uses the conventional tower and ATM system while Volocopter and M3 Systems use the UTM system. The following three flight scenarios were tested:

  • The unexpected occupation of a final approach and take-off plan and the diversion of an aircraft due to the priority landing of another aircraft (Pipistrel and Volocopter aircraft).
  • The diversion of a flight path due to the closure of an airport or vertiport (M3 Systems).
  • Diverting a flight path with two aircraft on the same path (M3 Systems and Volocopter aircraft).

“These successful tests confirm that our boreal UAS will be an enabler for future XUAM operations in situations where aircraft need to safely divert trajectories to another vertiport due to an unplanned shutdown or another aircraft in flight” , explained Marc Pollina, CEO of M3 Systems. “By providing rerouting demonstrations and tactical communications with U-Space service providers, M3 Systems can support future coordination between AAM and airport operators.”

Pipistrel is “As the manufacturer of the world’s only electric aircraft certified in commercial service, proud to participate in technical projects that are shaping the vision of air mobility and making significant progress,” said Gabriel Massey, President of Pipistrel. . “The CORUS project and demonstrations in Paris clearly show how UAM vehicles will be able to fly safely in scheduled airspace after 2030 and will help unlock new low-noise, low-emission passenger and air cargo services.”

In 2019, Volocopter tested its ATM 2X integration at Helsinki Airport and actively participated in the development of the European U-Space concept of operations, according to Oliver Reinhardt, head of risk and certification at Volocopter. “Building an effective ecosystem around UAM is Volocopter’s mission, and connecting ATM/UTM integration to our digital platform, VoloIQ, is poised to be an integral part of bringing UAM to megacities.” around the world,” Reinhardt said. “I look forward to the next CORUS-XUAM test flights later this year in Germany and what we can achieve there.”

The project has received funding from the SESAR Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement No 101017682.

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