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The Israeli designed AirMule fan craft UAV has made a first untethered light on December 30th. The flight was made in Megiddo airfield in northern Israel.

Rafi Yoeli, CEO of Tactical Robotics Ltd’s parent company Urban Aeronautics said that the test schedule in Megiddo includes plans for a demonstration of the autonomous AirMule’s cargo delivery capability aswell as a ‘beyond the line of sight’ flight along a path running through an adjacent, forested area.

Yoeli added that Tactical Robotics has achieved ‘category 2’ certification for an export variant of the aircraft known as ‘Cormorant’ under the international Missile Technology Control Regime (MCTR).

The AirMule and its ‘Cormorant’ export variant are both compact, unmanned, single engine,VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing) aircraft. This one-ton aircraft is presently powered by a single, 730 shp TURBOMECA Arriel 1D1 engine.

The production aircraft will use a more powerful ARRIEL 2 variant capable of providing 985 shp at takeoff. Internal lift rotors enable the AirMule to fly inside obstructed terrain where helicopters are unable to operate. It will also be a maritime force multiplier on vessels that are too small for a standard unmanned helicopter. The ‘Cormorant’ variant will carry a 440 Kg useful load to a distance of 300 Kilometers. At closer ranges higher useful loads are possible. The maximum speed of Cormorant will be 100 Knots and it will be able to operate at altitudes of up to 18,000 feet.