The federal aviation agency is preparing to roll out the first of the super-heavy aircraft that can carry a load of more than 2,000 kilograms to new heights in remote and remote-controlled areas, including a major new test site in Australia.
The $40 million Australian project, called the “Superlight” aircraft, is designed to take the pressure off of the ageing B777 aircraft, which are currently operated by the National Aviation Safety Board.
The Superlight is an extension of the B777 and is the first aircraft of its kind to be flown on a fully-resonant, fully-functioning and autonomous flight path.
It can fly up to 3,000 feet and is capable of reaching speeds of Mach 6.5.
The super-light aircraft is designed for use in remote, remote-operated and remotely controlled environments.
The flight path is designed around a runway with a minimum height of 1,000 metres, and the Superlight can also be used as a glider to glide through a runway.
The B777s are operated by NAAB, the national safety agency, and have a service life of 10 years.
The Australian Federal Aviation Authority said it was also working with the Federal Government to develop a prototype of a flight path that could be used for future aircraft.
The National Aviation safety board is to finalise the flight path on Thursday.
The aircraft’s main payload is a “super-high lift” airframe capable of carrying a load up to 2,400 kilograms (6,000 pounds).
The flight paths for the first two aircraft, called “SuperLight”, are to be tested on the Australian remote airstrip at the remote test site of the “Bollard” airfield in Darwin.
The new aircraft is a step towards the government’s plan to use drones and satellites to test new flying technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), to improve safety and save lives.
“We’re very excited to be able to offer these innovative aircraft to the public, particularly in remote locations where the use of drones is so important,” said Peter Fenton, managing director of Aviation Australia.
“This is the kind of technology that can be used to provide a much-needed level of safety for the public.”
“We know the B-17 Flying Fortress was a big inspiration for our new aircraft and we’re thrilled to be part of its development.”AAP/ABC