Saturday, October 16, 2010

India's Rustom-1 UAV Makes "First Flight" Again, This Time Successfully [UPDATED]


The second "maiden" flight of the Rustom-1 technology demonstrator UAV was conducted successfully in Bangalore on Saturday. In November last year, the first Rustom-1 airframe crashed during its first flight at the Taneja Airfield near Hosur in what became a major embarrassment to the team. Friday's flight of the second Rustom-1 prototype was for 30 minutes. The Rustom-1 is a technology feeder programme (based on the NAL LCRA) for the more capable Rustom-H medium altitude long endurance (MALE) UAV that hasn't flown yet. The photograph above is from the failed first flight last year.

Here's DRDO's statement:

RUSTOM the Medium altitude long endurance Unmanned Arial Vehicle being developed by Aeronautical Development Establishment, a premier DRDO lab specializing in UAVs and flight control systems, was successfully flown in its maiden flight. The aircraft was flown in a manner exactly as planned, up to a height of 3000 ft. and remained airborne for 30 minutes and completed all mission requirements. It taxied, took off and landed (among the most challenging maneuvers for a UAV), using a runway at an air field owned by Taneja Aerospace, Bangalore, like a normal aircraft with the ground based pilot in full control monitoring every maneuver of the aircraft and auto mode remaining on.

Rustom with a designed endurance of 12-15 hour, 25000 ft. altitude and 75 kg pay load is forerunner to the more advanced Rustom H and UCAV. The data link for this aircraft has been developed by DEAL, another DRDO laboratory and the airframe has been built by Zephyr Aerospace, Coimbatore. The subsequent flights will test and demonstrate these capabilities such as way point navigation, altitude and endurance parameters, the systems for which have been already incorporated in the aircraft.

Dr. Prahlada, Distinguished Scientist and Chief Controller R&D (Aeronautics & Services Interaction) who was present their briefed the mission details. The flight was witnessed by Dr. G. Elangovan, Distinguished Scientist & CCR&D(R&M), Shri PS Krishnan, Distinguished Scientist & Director ADE, Shri G. Natarajan, Program Director, Shri G. Sreenivasamurthy, Project Director, and, Shri Ajoy Raman, Chairman FRR.


More on the Rustom-H here and here.

Photo Courtesy Anantha Krishnan M (of the failed 1st flight in November 2009)

12 comments :

shukant chatrath said...

yes finally!!!!! thank god it did not crash this time. congrats to all the engineers. now hopefully the rustom project will move at a faster pace, then India will have it's own home built UAV

Anonymous said...

MORE PICS OF IT FLYING PLS AND WHEN WILL IT COME INTO SERIAL PRODUCTION

Mr. Ra said...

Good luck to this project...

Anonymous said...

shiv sir can u find out wat is the range of this model ? and wat is the range envisioned for the final model ??
eagerly waiting for your reply

Sajeesh Kumar K said...

Hi,
Hearty Congats to DRDO and specially to all at ADE for the successfull flight of Rustom1.

lspk said...

Shiv don't you think our scientists should take a lesson or two in DESIGNING weapons & their platforms ?
Rustom looks ugly compared to ..say the predator. I know its performance that counts in the battlefield but I believe a better designed weapon would also inspire a bit more confidence.

Anonymous said...

Ispk @ 3:53 PM

A mean, ugly, angry look is in tune with an aggressive/destructive weapon system. So, what's the point trying to make it look sexy? Though, agreed that sex appeal also at times can be deceptive.

Anonymous said...

Iam surprised no one in this forum pointed out that the RUSTOM UAV is using the complete airframe of the Vari-EZE (or one of its clones). This doesnt seem like a big achievement. Probably the avionics and software is whats special......

Anonymous said...

The man to be really credited for this achievement is the late Professor Dr Rustom B. Damania who passed away in March 2001 while still working on this project. but for his tireless efforts on behalf of Indian avionics we would not have seen this day!

A3 said...

This looks like a big radio controlled model airplane.

There are many videos on youtube of people building bigger model airplanes than this in their spare time.

Anonymous said...

mr shiv.. first off all tell me wheater u r a scientist or do u know anything about of the development of aircraft.. Without knowing anything about it dunt comment bcoz empty vessels make more noise..

Anonymous said...

Hey! Rustom is a copy of Rutan Long-EZ See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutan_Long-EZ