The Dassault Aviation AVE-D drone completed its first fully
autonomous demonstration flight on June 30 near Toul, France. The
flight, watched by representatives of France's Delegation Generale
pour l'Armement (DGA) armaments procurement agency, comprised a
completely automated sequence: roll from parking spot, runway
alignment, takeoff, in-flight maneuvers, landing, braking and
rolling back to the parking apron.
This AVE-D flight marks a significant first for Dassault
Aviation, confirming the company's expertise in Uninhabited Air
Vehicles, or drones. The demonstration flight is a key development
milestone for a technology essential to the successful pursuit of
the European nEUROn Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle Demonstrator
The AVE (Aeronefs de Validation Experimentale) series is a
family of scale model experimental unmanned aircraft developed by
Dassault Aviation. These aircraft enable Dassault Aviation to carry
out flight validation tests of technological advances in the field
of Uninhabited Air Vehicles, or UAVs, including stealth and
Achieving maximum stealth is a decisive factor for the success
of observation or attack missions in a hostile combat environment.
The first AVE aircraft -- called AVE-D, for "discretion" -- made
its maiden flight in July 2000, becoming the first stealth drone to
fly in Europe.