An Unmanned DA-42 Performs First Flight

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Dominator takes off for its maiden flight. Photo: Aeronautics Defense Systems

Last week, Israel-based Aeronautics Defense Systems successfully completed the first flight of the ‘Dominator 2’ Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aerial system (Israeli code name “Oz”). The Dominator II is based on the Austrian Diamond DA-42 manned aircraft. The system’s flight testing evaluated the performance of a variety of sub-assemblies integrated into the system to convert it into an unmanned platform.

Dominator takes off for its maiden flight. Photo: Aeronautics Defense Systems

Utilizing civilian certified, operationally proven manned aircraft for the unmanned mission, Dominator 2 conforms well to military and civilian applications. The twin-engine UAV has an operational ceiling of 30,000ft and mission endurance of 28 hours at speed ranging from 75 to 190 knots. The aircraft has a 13.5 m wing span, 8.5 m length and 2.5 meter height. The maximum gross take-off weight of about two tons, is able to carry multiple payloads weighing up to 400kg. It has advanced safety systems, including all-weather flight safety and anti-icing systems.
The UAV is expected to continue its series of advanced flights to integrate additional systems and sensors that will enable it to perform complex intelligence missions.

“Interest and demand for the Dominator 2 have far exceeded our expectations, and we believe that in the coming years Aeronautics will sell dozens of systems around the world. There is tremendous potential for civilian use of UAVs” says Avi Leumi, CEO of Aeronautics, adding, “Just as UAVs are gradually replacing manned aircraft in carrying out numerous and diverse operations, we expect to see UAVs engaged in a variety of applications on the civilian market in the future. Beginning with areas which seem naturally close to defense, such as policing and security, and through fields such as agriculture, infrastructures, transportation and even environmental protection.” According to Leumi, the new Dominator II renders Aeronautics a foothold in global markets with strong demand for the product, primarily in Western countries, including NATO members. “Given the ability to integrate a great deal of equipment and intelligence systems in the Dominator II, which cannot be carried in smaller UAVs.