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Sunday, January 1, 2006

Rotorcraft Report: Bell's Eagle Eye Gets First FAA Vertical Lift Experimental Airworthiness Certificate

CIVIL

Bell's Eagle Eye Gets First FAA Vertical Lift Experimental Airworthiness Certificate

The Bell Eagle Eye TR918 Unmanned Aircraft System has received the FAA's first airworthiness certificate issued for experimental flight testing of a UAV. The TR918 was developed by Bell's XworX facility at Arlington, Texas.

Bob Ellithorpe, Bell's director of unmanned systems, said the approval of the experimental flight certificate "is an example of government and industry teamwork" and was the results of a detailed plan executed over the last several months. "We are now cleared to take to the air and begin flight test operations. With this certification process, we can now demonstrate to the world the remarkable capability of a vertical lift, tiltrotor" unmanned Aircraft System.

The aircraft is aimed at both military and commercial operations, "with multiple capabilities ranging from homeland security to pipeline patrol," Ellithorpe said. "Ultimately, Bell's objective is to provide a family of unmanned systems that give our customers the means to more effectively accom

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