Among the main platform’s objectives are the verification of the use of a structure made completely with Out Of Autoclave (OOA) carbon-fibre materials and the testing of the diesel propulsion technologies (common-rail of car derivation) for aeronautics. All this in order to minimise fuel consumption, keep operational costs low and use the same jet-aircraft fuels instead of the expensive and ever less used, high octane AVGAS.
The Sky-Y will also offer the opportunity to prove flight and mission control systems specifically devoted to surveillance missions (ad-hoc developed), payloads and various equipments for ground surveillance, data-links (from the Finmeccanica company SELEX Communications) and advanced sensor systems (from another Finmeccanica company, SELEX Galileo).
The previous Sky-Y test campaigns has allowed the demonstration of some automatic functions of the ground surveillance mission systems; these are key elements to fully assess the operational capabilities of a production system which will have in the future to be used for this role.
In the testing phase, during which the Sky-Y has reached a distance of up to 125 km from its Ground Control Station, the following tasks have been accomplished: automatic take-off and landing; functionalities of search, identification and surveillance of ground targets (open view and hidden, “hot” and “cold”, static or in motion); night flight and landing; real time capabilities of images’ reception and elaboration and their distribution to “customer” network, with video and infrared images’ transfer to the Civil Defence’s operations room of the Piedmont Region (through the satellite datalink system developed by Telespazio, a Finmeccanica/Thales company) and in conclusion datalink system’s performances.
The Sky-Y is the MALE platform selected for the SMAT (Advanced Environmental Monitoring System) regional research program, and selected for the MIDCAS (Mid Air Collision Avoidance System) European program.
Sky-Y Preliminary Data
Length 9.7 m
Wing Span 9.9 m
Empty Weight 850 kg
Fuel + Payload 350 kg
Take-off max weight 1,200 kg
Cruise Speed 140 Kts
Cruise Altitude 25,000 ft
Endurance 14 hours
Range 500 nautical miles