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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Schiebel Camcopter Still Only UAV in Paris Display

By Thierry Dubois

Austrian UAV manufacturer Schiebel is exhibiting its Camcopter S-100 at the Paris Air Show, where the small helicopter is again the only unmanned aircraft in the flying display. Schiebel claims to have sold over 100 copies of the S-100. Almost all these aircraft have been delivered, to 12 customers. The production rate has hit two per month but the capacity is 10 per month. Adaptation of the engine for it to use heavy fuel is under way, which could bring in more sales.

Managing director Neil Hunter pointed out the Camcopter can be used for both civil and military operations. It is certified by civil aviation authorities like Europe’s EASA. One such mission took place recently in Austria, where the S-100 inspected high-voltage power lines for several days. The S-100 has a cruise speed of 55 knots, which gives an endurance of about six hours. It can dash at 120 knots. The rotary engine provides 50 hp. MTOW stands at 440 lbs, for a typical payload of 110 lbs. For example, the payload can be a camera, radar or a loudspeaker. The aircraft can also drop pamphlets.

Hunter would not quote a number for the price, insisting it depends on customer requirements. For example, some just need a few miles in antenna range, while others need a hundred miles, he said. He conceded the price is in “single-digit” million dollars.


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