Norwegian firm testing what may be ‘world’s smallest’ helicopter


ASKER April 7 – Prox Dynamics is developing what is believed to be one of the smallest complete Unmanned Aircraft Systems, the PD-100 Black Hornet. The company just passed its first year of operation on April 1, and has during that time produced and flown five prototypes, the latest being Hornet-3a.

First flight of the Hornet-3a was achieved earlier this year and a number of test flights have been performed indoors at the Prox Dynamics premises. Even though being designed as a very responsive and unstable aircraft, the advanced flight controls system makes the Hornet-3a very easy to fly. Being able to operate the 15 grams UAV outdoors in wind and gust is considered a vital part of its operational capabilities. It is also one of the most challenging tasks for the flight controls and autopilot system. A major milestone was therefore reached on April 7 when the Hornet-3a made its first flights outdoors.

With the Norwegian snow still present the Hornet-3a was flown in dry conditions with light variable wind up to 2 m/s. The aircraft showed no adverse controllability issues either in hover or during high speed passes. Over distance the Hornet-3a was able to maintain an average horizontal speed of 7 m/s with a maximum airspeed of 8 m/s. The test also confirmed some of the low signature capabilities of the system. Outside a distance of approximately three meters the sound from the helicopter was completely drowned by the ambient noise.

Prox Dynamics is very pleased to announce that the technological development of the PD-100 Black Hornet UAS is progressing according to plans. We have so far reached all critical milestones and first delivery of an operational system is expected by the end of next year.

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