Airbus has developed an unmanned air vehicle launcher designed for the A400M military transport aircraft.
Airbus say that the development of the UAV Launcher project has been performed in a non-traditional way in only half a year in a close cooperation between Airbus, DLR, Geradts GmbH and SFL GmbH.
It included concept, development and production of a UAV Launcher prototype for the A400M.
“We have developed a UAV launching mechanism to launch drones from a flying A400M plane. Imagine a combat scenario where multiple remote carriers are required. If you have an A400M, you could launch them and later on multiple UAVs,” Andreas Heckman, Project Leader UAV Launcher, said in an official video.
“We had two main challenges in our project. One is time: we only had six months to go from a concept to a flight demontstator. And we had to work remotely due to COVID. And secondly safe preparation, to perform a safe separation of the UAV from the A400M trough simulation and also trough safety analysis. We have assessed all safety scenarios and developed safety procedures for the crew.” he added.
The A400M has the ability to carry a 37-tonne payload over 2,000nm to established and remote civilian and military airfields, and short unprepared or semi-prepared strips.