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nEUROn’s first public flight demonstration

Published on 06/06/2016 18:00 - By

A ground controlled stealth aircraft performing in public was a first in the history of aviation. At a French Air Force show, organized in Istres (southern France), on 4 June, the nEUROn performed a fifteen-minute flight demonstration.

After take-off, the European UCAV demonstrator was joined by a Rafale and a Falcon 8X. The three aircraft flew in formation, at 220 mph (350 km/h), 500 feet (150 metres) above sea level, in front of thousands of spectators.

"This flying display, in a limited airspace, represents a real achievement, both technically and in terms of flying skills", said Dassault Aviation in a statement.

The nEUROn flight tests, which constituted over one hundred flights that began in December 2012, were completed in September 2015. The 33 feet (10 metres) long, 11,000 lbs (five tonnes) technological demonstrator is capable of flying for three hours at a speed of Mach 0.8 (610 mph / 980 km/h).

Since late 2014, six aeronautical companies (Dassault Aviation, BAE Systems, Thales, Selex, Safran and Rolls-Royce) have been working at the request of French and British governments on a next-generation, unmanned, combat aircraft project. An aircraft that could see the light of day in 2030.

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