The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Pipistrel Selects Honeywell Compact Satcom for UAVs

Honeywell Aerospace will supply compact satellite communications technology for the Nuuva V300 and V20 unmanned freight VTOL aircraft being developed by Pipistrel, as well as for the new Surveyor fixed-wing surveillance platform. The August 16 announcement builds on an existing partnership between the companies that has already seen Pipistrel select the U.S. group's compact fly-by-wire system for the V300, in addition to its Attitude Heading Reference System and Air Data Module.

At just 2.2 pounds, Honeywell’s Small UAV Satcom system weighs 90 percent less than the company’s next-smallest connectivity system, yet it brings the same capabilities enjoyed by larger aircraft to the Nuuva V300, V20, and Surveyor. The V300 will offer a payload of 1,010 pounds and a range of more than 186 miles, while the smaller V20 model will have a payload of just 44 pounds. The Surveyor can be fitted with a variety of sensors and cameras for applications such as wildlife management, coastal patrol, traffic monitoring, and search-and-rescue missions.

The compact satcom system provides unmanned aerial vehicles with global coverage and real-time video streaming to the ground. It also allows beyond-line-of-sight capabilities, so vehicles can operate remotely beyond the operator’s visual sight. Applications include logistics and delivery services performed by UAVs. Also, the small UAV satcom can keep vehicles connected even in remote areas or over water, where other ground-based communications systems, such as 4G, do not cover.

“We are excited to offer our customers a global communication solution, which is location independent and cost-effective,” said Pipistrel CEO Ivo Boscarol. “The addition of Honeywell’s Small UAV satcom to our unmanned aircraft platforms unlocks global beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) connectivity for command-control, as well as a mission-specific data relay. Our customers will enjoy the ability to connect to their assets anytime, anywhere, without the need to set up elaborate ground-based BVLOS infrastructure.” 

Honeywell last year formed a division to focus on the so-called advanced air mobility sector, including unmanned and eVTOL aircraft. Pipistrel also continues work 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 plans to develop a passenger-carrying eVTOL model but last year chose to give greater priority to the Nuuva V300 and the Miniliner.