The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Pipistrel's Nuuva V300 Cargo Vehicle Will Use Honeywell Flight Data Systems

Electric aircraft maker Pipistrel has chosen Honeywell Aerospace’s Attitude Heading Reference System and Air Data Module for its Nuuva V300 cargo unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the companies said Thursday. The technologies provide navigation and motion-sensing data and will work in tandem with Honeywell’s compact fly-by-wire system, which Pipistrel chose for the V300 last October. 

The Attitude Heading Reference System (AH-2000) and Air Data Module (ADM) supply critical motion data to all avionics systems and many mechanical systems, explained Honeywell in a statement. Both the AH-2000 and ADM can serve several flight applications, including urban air mobility vehicles, commercial aircraft, business jets, and helicopters. 

Pipistrel is already partnered with Honeywell, which last year formed a division to focus on the so-called advanced air mobility sector, including unmanned and eVTOL aircraft. The Slovenian company is also working on a 20-seat electric fixed-wing regional aircraft called the Miniliner, which it aims to get into commercial service between 2028 and 2030 on routes of up to around 625 miles. It also has plans to develop a passenger-carrying eVTOL model but last year chose to give greater priority to the Nuuva V300 and the Miniliner.

“Nuuva V300’s groundbreaking operational concept requires highly accurate, dependable, and robust navigation sensors, and the AH-2000 and ADM are key enablers of this functionality,” said Tine Tomažič, chief technology officer of Pipistrel. “This technology allows us to deliver simple and intuitive mouse-click control to fly the vehicle, eliminating the need for operators to be trained with traditional piloting skills, which helps ensure rapid scale-up of operations for our customers.”

The AH-2000 equipment uses inertial reference systems based on Honeywell’s Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems to provide attitude and velocity information for the aircraft. This data supports fly-by-wire flight control systems and also provides navigation data.

Pipistrel’s Nuuva V300 is a long-range, large-capacity, autonomous UAV. The design would allow it to take off and land vertically with battery power, meaning it does not require a runway. An internal combustion engine driving a propeller at the rear of the fuselage powers the UAV for cruise flight. It can carry loads up to 460 kg (around 1,000 pounds) for more than 300 km (186 miles), making it what Pipistrel considers ideal for deliveries to areas usually accessible only by helicopter.

Earlier this year, Honeywell announced plans to provide a new turbogenerator for hybrid-electric aircraft. The U.S. group is also working on a simplified flight deck that it says will make it more realistic for eVTOL aircraft operators to recruit and train sufficient numbers of pilots to support their ambitious plans for large-scale air taxi services. In addition, Honeywell is partnered with UK-based eVTOL aircraft developer Vertical Aerospace and is a shareholder in artificial intelligence specialist Daedalean, which is working on autonomous flight-control technology.