Farnborough, UK
P.1HH HammerHead programme reaches new milestone: autonomous flight modes successfully validated

Piaggio Aero, together with Finmeccanica - Selex ES are pleased to announce the latest developments in the flight campaign of the Remotely Piloted Air System (RPAS) P.1HH HammerHead DEMO aircraft that has validated and fine tuned its advanced control laws, including augmented modes, flight envelope protection and automatic flight, plus the automatic management of the ground run both in takeoff and landing.

Safety critical phases, such as take-off and landing when using the GCS and Datalink systems in manual flight, have been explored and brought to an unprecedented ease of operation with the close collaboration between the two companies’ engineering and flight teams.

This year the RPAS P.1HH DEMO has extensively flight tested in Trapani-Birgi in Sicily (Italy) its ISR capabilities with an EO/IR sensor, managed autonomously by the Mission Management System based on Finmeccanica - Selex ES skyISTAR.

Such capabilities will be further tested by Piaggio Aero on the P.1HH, which will also integrate the Finmeccanica - Selex ES radar Seaspray7300E managed by an enhanced version of the skyISTAR Mission Management System.

About the P.1HH HammerHead UAS

The Piaggio Aero P.1HH HammerHead is a multipurpose state-of-the-art Unmanned Aerial System designed to meet the need for a high-tech solution for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR).
The P.1HH remotely piloted aircraft features automatic take-off and landing capabilities, making it able to fly up to 45,000 feet, with an outstanding endurance of 16 flight hours. 

The UAS systems will be fully compliant with the STANAG USAR 4671 standards that enable the UAV to fly in both restricted and unrestricted flight areas.

The vehicle management and control system, air data terminal and the ground control segment for the P.1HH HammerHead have all been developed and supplied by Finmeccanica - Selex ES, which is cooperating with Piaggio Aero to ensure highly effective integration. 

The P.1HH HammerHead Mission Management System is based on the Finmeccanica - Selex ES skyISTAR innovative solutions, which is ideally designed for patrolling and ISR missions, and responding to diverse threats that range from terrorist attacks to illegal immigration, protection of Exclusive Economic Zones, infrastructures and critical sites. Sensor fusion, data management and exploitation features of skyISTAR enable highly effective border control, wide area surveillance, targeted surveillance, environmental and disaster control missions. Finmeccanica - Selex ES provides an outstanding contribution thanks to its capabilities, products and experience in developing and manufacturing UAS surveillance systems, and contributing to its avionics/ mission system and its sensor suite, featuring SeaSpray 7300E Radar, Comms and customized Data Link solutions.

The P.1HH HammerHead UAS platform is a derivative of the Piaggio Aero P.180 Avanti II aircraft, newly designed for ISR multi mission purposes. The remotely piloted aircraft’s main features are: an enhanced airframe, increased aerodynamic configuration with a reinforced wing providing an increased surface and higher aspect ratio. 

The aerodynamic configuration is based on the development of new wings providing a 15.6 m wing span with the subsequent modification of the previous P.180 aerodynamic design but maintaining Piaggio Aero patented 3 lifting surface configuration. 

The P.1HH HammerHead aircraft features a removable external section wing in order to guarantee easy ground transportation and provide operational flexibility in any environment. 

This modified aerodynamic configuration underwent extensive low speed/high speed wind tunnel testing to validate both its design and performance.

The characteristics of the P.1HH HammerHead UAS make it uniquely suited for a wide range of surveillance intelligence, reconnaissance and security missions and it will be developed and brought to market by Piaggio Aero with a variety of operational capabilities individually tailored to specific customer requirements.

The first flight of the P.1HH DEMO technology demonstrator marks the beginning of the next phase of the development of the P.1HH HammerHead UAS programme in preparation for operational readiness of the first full representative prototype, to be achieved by the end of 2014.