UTM achieves unmanned aircraft milestone

One for the future: Dr. Mohd Azraai (third from left) looking at the prototype aircraft while Dr Shuhaimi (right) explains the spesifications to a group during the launching of the aircraft in UTM, Johor Baru recently.

JOHOR BARU: Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) plans to soar further in the aeronautical industry after successfully putting together an unmanned aircraft.

The university’s deputy vice-chancellor of research and innovation Prof Dr Mohd Azraai Mohd Kassim said the aircraft, UTM-UAV Camar 1 prototype, was had proven to be a success after undergoing several tests.

He said the aircraft was an achievement for the university which plan to improve their aeronautical research.

Prof Mohd Azraai said the plane is a collaboration between UTM Aeronautics Group and Unmanned System Technologies Sdn Bhd (UST), which is a subsidiary of Composite Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM) Bhd.

“It took us one and a half years to develop Camar and this aircraft is expected to fly various missions such as terrain mapping, aerial monitoring and surveillance and as an airborne laboratory facility for aeronautical technology development.

“This programme provides an integrated platform for various aspects of aeronautical engineering research, including aerodynamics, avionics and instrumentations, aircraft structures and materials, aircraft dynamics and control system, all being conducted in UTM,” he said.

Prof Mohd Azraai said this when met after launching and witnessing Camar’s maiden flight held at UTM here recently.

He added that the aircraft represents a strategic phase-by-phase development programme of unmanned air vehicle, where Camar 1 has a two-meter wingspan, fly up to two hours and a range of 20km.

“UTM is committed to further develop several more prototypes based on the same basic design, in continuing researches to produce bigger sizes with up to four metres of wingspan and longer endurance,” he said.

Meanwhile, the project leader Assoc Prof Dr Shuhaimi Mansor said the design of the aircraft is unorthodox as the tail section is a “V” design compared to similar aircrafts.

“We took a risk to put the V tail on the aircraft, which cost more than RM100,000, but after testing it several times, the plane is more stable,” he said adding that the aircraft could fly more than 304m in the air.

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