2012-12-02 The first flight of the jointly developed European UAV was seen this week.
According to an Alenia press release from December 1, 2012:
The nEUROn, the first European technology demonstrator for an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV), made its first flight today from the French military test center at Istres.
nEuron represents a triple “first” for Europe and the aerospace industries of participating countries: first UCAV developed by several European countries in cooperation, first stealthy combat aircraft and first combat aircraft designed and developed using a fully digital environment.
The aircraft was rolled out in January after five years of design, development, assembly and static testing.
Alenia Aermacchi CEO Giuseppe Giordo commented: “We are very proud of this milestone achievement of the European aeronautics industry. Our strong commitment to the development of highly innovative products spans many years of development, manufacturing and usage procedures completely different from those traditionally used in this industry. The technological development and demonstration of unmanned aircraft capable of performing complex missions autonomously, which are the new frontier of flight, have been a specific focus
Alenia Aermacchi’s technological demonstrators Sky-Y and Sky-X aircraft were the first UAVs in their category developed in Europe. The jet engine Sky-X first flew on 2005 while the Sky-Y MALE on 2007.