Quebec’s Laflamme Aero to develop 300 kg unmanned helicopter
The Laflamme Aero Inc. company has announced the launch of a $2.3 million project for the development and the demonstration of a 300 kg. unmanned helicopter called the LX300. This new aircraft will become one of the largest civil unmanned aerial vehicule (UAV) to be commercialized in the world. The two-and-a-half-year project will culminate in demonstration flights by 2017. This project is funded in part by the Consortium for Aerospace Research and Innovation in Canada (CARIC).
By Carey Fredericks
Other partners involved in this project are N.G.C. Aerospace, Roy Aeronef and Avionique Simulation, and Sinters America. They will respectively take care of the aircraft guidance, navigation and control system, of the high-definition simulator, and of a specialized embarked computer. This consortium is supported by two universities: Polytechnique Montréal and the École de technologie supérieure (ETS). Laflamme Aero will be the project leader, allowing the company to demonstrate its expertise and technologies, which mostly come from the LAF-01 helicopter project developed by Réjean Laflamme.
“For this project, we have successfully joined four high-tech companies, each of which possesses a complementary know-how. In order to additionally strengthen our technical expertise, we are also collaborating with professor David Saussié from Polytechnique who possesses an incredible expertise in control laws; and with professor Pierre Bélanger from the ETS who has a remarkable experience in instrumentation, following his last four years with the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Formula 1 team. So we have quite a team behind us!,” said Laflamme Aero president Enrick Laflamme.
Among the targeted applications for the unmanned helicopter that will be developed, we have agriculture, mining prospection, search and rescue as well as naval applications. “This is a unique opportunity to put forward the helicopter expertise our company has been developing for the last 30 years. The industrial applications we are targeting demand automated commercial-type helicopter, as reliable and high-performing as certified manned helicopters,” added David Laflamme, general director of Laflamme Aero.