Last February, the Airbus Helicopters Skyways drones successfully performed its first flight demonstration at the National University of Singapore (UNS) according to the industry. The drone took off from its maintenance center and landed on the roof of a specially designed station where a package was automatically loaded via a robotic arm. Once the package was successfully loaded, the Skyways drone took off again and returned to shore, demonstrating its automatic unloading capability.

This inaugural flight follows the launch of the experimental project with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) – in February 2016 to develop an unmanned urban air system while maintaining safety, security and security, efficiency and sustainability of airline delivery activities in cities like Singapore. The collaboration subsequently expanded in April 2017 with Singapore Post (SingPost), which became the project’s local logistic partner. “Today’s flight demonstration paves the way for the launch of our local test service in the coming months. This is the result of a very strong partnership between the relevant stakeholders, in particular with the CAAS,” said Alain Flourens, Executive Vice President of Engineering and Technical Director of Airbus Helicopters, before adding: “The safe and reliable urban air transport is a close reality, and Airbus is excited to be a forerunner in this technology.”

In addition to this first flight, Airbus Helicopters reported on the progress of the program as a whole. The research and development phase is progressing well, according to the manufacturer, who talks about fitting out equipment and installations on the UNS campus. Students and campus staff will be able to use Skyways for the delivery of small packages of 2 to 4 kg to designated parcel stations within the campus equivalent to the size of 150 football fields.