BAE reveals progress on ‘the most advanced aircraft ever built by British engineers’

taranisThe Ministry of Defence and BAE Systems have revealed that Taranis, the £185 million stealthy unmanned combat vehicle demonstrator and “the most advanced aircraft ever built by British engineers”, “surpassed all expectations” during its first flight trials last year.

Taranis (pictured), named after the Celtic god of thunder, made its maiden flight at an undisclosed test range last August, under the command of test pilot Bob Fraser.  BAE said the demonstrator aircraft made a perfect take-off, rotation, ‘climb-out’ and landing on its 15 minute first flight.  A number of other flights took place last year at a variety of altitudes and speeds.  The details were revealed at a briefing held in London today.

The UK defence contractor said the Taranis demonstrator is the result of one-and-a-half-million man hours of work by the UK’s leading scientists, aerodynamicists and systems engineers from 250 UK companies.

The aircraft has been designed to demonstrate the UK’s ability to create an unmanned air system which, under the control of a human operator, is capable of undertaking sustained surveillance, marking targets, gathering intelligence, deterring adversaries and carrying out strikes in hostile territory.

The findings from the aircraft’s flight prove that the UK has developed a significant lead in understanding unmanned aircraft which could strike with precision over a long range while remaining undetected, said BAE. The technological advances made through Taranis will also help the UKMOD and Royal Air Force make decisions on the future mix of manned and unmanned fast jet aircraft.

About the size of the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer aircraft, BAE designed and built Taranis working alongside Rolls-Royce, GE Aviation (formerly Smiths Aerospace) and QinetiQ.

Copyright Ken Hurst 2014

Advertisements

About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
This entry was posted in Aerospace & defence, Manufacturing management and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s