Leonardo: The Sw-4 ‘Solo’ Remotely Piloted Helicopter Begins Test Campaign in Grottaglie Airport

Photo: PZL-Świdnik

Photo: PZL-Świdnik

The flight campaign is carried out in collaboration with the Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale Pugliese (DTA) and Ente Nazionale Aviazione Civile (ENAC)

With the first flight of the innovative remotely piloted helicopter SW-4 ‘Solo’ at the Taranto-Grottaglie Airport, Leonardo-Finmeccanica begins the test campaign to verify the aircraft’s operational characteristics and validate flight procedures, in both normal and emergency conditions.

Mauro Moretti, CEO and General Manager Leonardo said: “The SW-4 ‘Solo’ is testimony of Leonardo’s industrial commitment and innovation in unmanned aircraft, a sector of increased global competition and is part of a portfolio of solutions making Leonardo the only European company able to provide a complete ‘unmanned’ system. When presented with an advancement of technology, the winning regions are those who can adapt to market needs. Grottaglie is an example of this.”

The flight test campaign started on the 18/12/16 activity is part of a collaboration started in 2015 between Leonardo, Aeroporti di Puglia (AdP) and the Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale Pugliese (DTA) for the “Grottaglie Test Bed,” which is a candidate to become the Italian solution to the national and European industry demand for the testing of unmanned aircraft. The campaign, carried out also in collaboration with the DTA and Ente Nazionale Aviazione Civile (ENAC, the Italian Civil Aviation Authority) will continue during the first few months of 2017. The validation of procedures and regulations for the use of unmanned aircraft are among its key objectives. The ‘Solo,’ recently returned from a successful demonstration campaign in the UK.


“Solo” is a single engine rotary wing Unmanned Air System/Optionally Piloted Helicopter (RUAS/OPH) first unveiled in 2012 at the MSPO exhibition and derived from the manned SW-4.  The UAS, built by PZL-Świdnik SA and AgustaWestland company is designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions and cargo re-supply at seawith or without pilot on board.  In  2013, the UK Ministry of Defense awarded AgustaWestland a £2.3 million contract to study the SOLO as a candidate for the Royal Navy’s RWUAS (Rotary Wing Unmanned Air System) Capability Concept Demonstrator (CCD) program.

Source: Leonardo Company & www.navaldrones.com/SW-4-SOLO.html

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