With the 2017 Paris Air Show starting to wind down, the media outlets covering the festivities barely scratched the surface of all the innovative technologies and crafts that are being displayed. Among the dozens of airplanes, fighter jets, drones, and other aerospace devices, several stood out from one another in different ways, mainly by being one of the first to achieve a certain milestone or technique that pertains to the aerospace industry.
Training specialist firm Reflet du Monde displayed one of its aircraft, which fit that description when they unveiled their miniature unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)—the RDM One. Currently in its prototype stage, the RDM One is designed to connect with satellites so the aircraft can implement long-range communication at ranges reaching 186 miles (300 km). The drone is capable of staying in the air for three continuous hours, and will reportedly cost over $330,000 per unit.
The prototype has garnered a good amount of interest from notable organizations such as the French national space agency Centra National d’Etudes Spatiales, which has offered varying degrees of support on the ongoing project. Reflet du Monde is looking for additional support in the form of financial partnerships, according to Lilian Marolleau, a director from the company. Before the air show, RDM One was previously displayed during a drone expedition at Bretigny, France on May 30, on a press trip organized by Thales, who recently unveiled a next-generation radar system.
While discussing the RDM One, Marolleau also touched base on the Phantom 4 UAV from the Chinese manufacturer DJI. This was among one of the drones that French soldiers have been trained to fly by Reflet du Monde this past March and April in a weeklong course that aimed to meet the military’s “operational needs.” The French army has been relying heavily on various UAVs like the Reaper MQ-9, in addition to the aforementioned aircraft to support troops deployed in the Sahel sub-Saharan region.
Many of these drones are also used for non-combative tasks like filming, mapping out regions, and site inspections. While still in its early stages, it’s believed the RDM One will be used in equivalent roles that the UAV will perform with greater efficiency and accuracy resulting from its ability to sync with other satellites.
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense