First UAV Flight Operates in German Military Airspace

Prague, June 8, 2022

Outstanding cooperation between German-based PLATH GmbH & Co KG and Czech Republic-based Primoco UAV demonstrated the first successful BVLOS-flight of an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) under an all-European LUC while regular air traffic proceeded in the military airspace of the Bundeswehr in Manching. The versatile fixed-wing UAV Primoco One 150 is perfectly suited to a range of tasks with its take-off weight of 150 kg, a payload of 30 kg and an operation time of more than 15 hours non-stop in the air. PLATH´s onboard multi-sensor technologies and airborne radio and transponder provided safe air traffic management (ATM) and collected all necessary data for the successful mission.

The WTD 61 Geschäftsfeld 470 in Manching was given a mandate from BAAINBw L 5.2 to conduct flight demonstrations to assess the capabilities of the Primoco One 150. The flight was made possible, from Ingolstadt-Manching airport where the Bundeswehr unit WTD 61, GF 470 is located by using a LIGHT UAS OPERATOR CERTIFICATE (LUC). It was the first time that a pan-European LUC operational approval was used which allowed the flight in Germany (or anywhere in Europe) without further approval from the Luftfahrt Bundesamt LBA. For the pioneering flight in Manching, the frequency allocation was made via the Federal Network Agency. 

Three flights were successfully performed at the end of April. After ensuring seamless communication and procedures through a test flight in Visual Line of Sight (VLOS), the air space was opened for other aircraft. During the following BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) and the BVLOS endurance flight the next day, several missions were conducted with a focus on flight parameters, navigational accuracy, and other aspects. The PLATH system, consisting of onboard multi-sensor technologies and multi-platform connectivity, helped the aircraft pass all operational tests by the Bundeswehr with flying colours. In addition, the UAV is equipped with an airborne radio and transponder which made air traffic management (ATM) easy and safe and provided all necessary data for this forward-looking flight mission.

For safety reasons the plane carried a ballistic recovery parachute to minimise the landing impact in case of any emergency. The Primoco flight crew is a holder of both civil and military drone pilot licenses. The outstanding cooperation leading to this successful test proved that the team´s UAV can be easily integrated into the modern army structure and can perform its missions safely and effectively in full compliance with the latest aviation standards.

Heiko Fimpel, Director Presales at PLATH commented on this milestone: “I am happy to have this great partnership with Primoco, where their competence and engagement enables us to bring our high-tech sensor systems to the area of interest and make this success possible. I´d like to thank the Bundeswehr for the competent, friendly and fruitful cooperation leading to this milestone in military aviation in Germany. As the UAV can be easily adapted to different types of sensor operation and integrated into the modern army structure this new vehicle category will have a great future ahead.”

Primoco UAV SE CEO Ladislav Semetkovský commented on the deployment as follows: “I also would like to thank the whole Bundeswehr team and base command, who provided exceptional support for making this evaluation possible. Although the operation took place under a civilian Light UAS Operator Certificate (LUC) the plane is designed for full compliance with military STANAG 4703 standards as well. The LUC was selected because it allowed us to perform the activities freely within the frame of our approval and with no delays or additional approvals needed. Our team enjoyed the conversations with representatives from various Bundeswehr units and departments as well as with our partner PLATH who gave us, as did the Bundeswehr team, valuable feedback on our system. Obviously, the operation from a prestigious location such as Ingolstadt-Manching required perfect preparation and elimination of any potential risks that could affect the base operation.

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