in Aerospace / Events

Cranfield and Bluebear run first NBEC test flights

Posted 6 February 2019 · Add Comment

The first test flights to establish the principles for the National Beyond visual line of sight Experimentation Corridor (NBEC) have successfully taken place at Cranfield Airport.



NBEC is a collaboration between Cranfield University and Blue Bear Systems Research Ltd that aims to create an experimentation corridor that will enable drones and unmanned aircraft to fly in the same airspace as manned aircraft.

Blue Bear executed three-kilometre Extended Visual Line of Sight (EVLOS) race track flights within the Cranfield Air Traffic Zone, utilising their Blackstart Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) towards their facility in Oakley. Regulations currently require drones to operate within visual line of sight of the operator at all times. Under EVLOS conditions, observers are used to maintain the line of sight while providing situational awareness to the operator.

The NBEC partners believe the key to future drone operations is not segregation, but unification ensuring fair and equitable use of airspace for all. NBEC will provide a safe, managed environment for drone and unmanned aircraft experimentation which will work towards their integration into controlled and uncontrolled airspace.  The aim is to see the corridor eventually stretch across Bedfordshire from Blue Bear’s headquarters in Oakley to Cranfield University’s airport.

Ian Williams-Wynn, Managing Director of Blue Bear, said: “When fully operational, the NBEC will be operated with Blue Bear and Cranfield running their respective systems, and will create an environment that allows other companies to come and test their UTM (Unified Traffic Management) concepts in a safe, managed environment.

“These initial flights, enabled us to provide Cranfield Airport with reassurance from an operational safety perspective that the systems Blue Bear had developed and put in place are appropriate and compatible with Cranfield Airport operations.”

Professor Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace at Cranfield University, said: “The Government’s new aviation strategy green paper highlights the exciting potential of modernising the UK’s airspace. These initial flights, mark an important step in the realisation of NBEC, which will be a national asset that will support the journey to the creation of a Unified Traffic Management system.”

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recently hosted the NBEC Team at its London headquarters, and provided the team with support and encouragement on their project and their staged risk, managed approach. Workup flights will be continuing at both ends of the NBEC Corridor throughout 2019.

During this first phase of testing, the Cranfield Air Traffic Zone was cleared of manned aircraft, to enable the project team to establish the principles for future integrated NBEC operations.

 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Royal Navy test fires new anti-ship missile

A target boat took a direct hit in the Irish Sea as the Royal Navy successfully tested its new missile to defeat terrorists and suicide bombers.

Construction begins on F-35 infrastructure at RAF Lakenheath

Work has started on buildings that will be home to two US Air Force F-35 squadrons at RAF Lakenheath.

US Ambassador highlights special security relationship at Heathrow

Heathrow hosted US Ambassador to the UK yesterday, who heralded Heathrow’s strong security partnership with US authorities, thanking the airport for its efforts to keep the skies safe for transatlantic passengers and make travel

TT Electronics unveils new modular current sensor approach for aircraft electrical systems

Provider of engineered electronics for performance critical applications, TT Electronics, today unveiled an innovative approach to developing customised solutions for the harsh environment requirements of the aerospace and

NCSC releases 2019 Active Cyber Defence report

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) released its Active Cyber Defence (ACD) report yesterday, revealing that a scam to defraud thousands of UK citizens using a fake email address spoofing a UK airport, was one of a wide range of

Baines Simmons appoints Mike Da Silva as consultant

Baines Simmons, part of the Consulting & Training division of global aviation services group Air Partner, is pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Da Silva as consultant. He will report directly to Mike Wallace, Head of

ODU 0201311219
See us at
SMI GMS BT1906071119SMI ActiveP BT1206121119DSEI JP BT1605201119ADSS1000DBT1706171019SMI FAV BT1006141119VIDSE BT1605060320