DRDO Statement: A successful flight test of the Rustom-1 UAV was conducted at around 12 noon on 21st May 2011. It was the second successful flight of "Rustom 1" being developed by the Aeronautical Development Establishment (ADE), a DRDO lab engaged in pioneering R&D work in the field of aeronautics. The "Rustom 1" has an endurance of 14 hrs. and altitude ceiling of 8000 meters. Rustom 1 has been achieved by converting a manned aircraft in to a UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) by removing pilot seat and making required electrical, mechanical and aerodynamic modifications. The test flight was conducted at the airfield belonging to the M/s Taneja Aerospace (TAAL) located near Hosur. Many improvements have been carried outs since the last flight, in terms of piloting, landing, taxiing etc. The flight was a precursor to the flight with payloads as required by the Services. The complete sequence of events went off well to the total satisfaction of the scientists and technical personnel of the Bangalore's Aeronautical Development Establishment who have developed the UAV. Lt Col Thappa from the Army was the external pilot for total mission flight who had no difficulty for control of the vehicle.
Dr Prahlada, Chief controller Research and Development (Aeronautics Programs), informed that with the successful accurate flying of Rustom 1 today, ADE is geared up for integration of payloads with the Aircraft within next three months, to demonstrate performance of payloads and necessary secure data-link to the users.
Here's a vid of the Rustom-1's first flight in October last year.
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