Photo: Dassault Aviation – K. Tokunaga
Aviation Week readers have been given an exclusive first look at the formation flight of the nEUROn unmanned combat air vehicle with a Rafale fighter and a Falcon 7X business jet, filmed and photographed by two chase planes.
It’s the first time a combat drone has flown in formation with other aircraft. The flight took place on 20 March 2014 over the Mediterranean ocean. Lasting 1 hour, 50 minutes the flight involved four manned aircraft and the UCAV flying alongside each other in a confined space.
In what is described as “a daunting challenge” Dassault engineers had to plan ahead to factor in the risk of interference, including aerodynamic turbulence between the aircraft as well as electromagnetic interference with communications between the nEUROn and its ground control station.
Watch the video in high definition below.