S-PLANE X-KIT selected by Airbus UpNext

S-PLANE Automation’s X-KIT has been selected by Airbus UpNext for its Extra Performance Wing demonstrator project. The X-KIT will be used to safely and reliably ensure the remote control of a Cessna Citation VII business jet that will fly breakthrough wing technologies.

S-PLANE‘s X-KIT is a set of airborne and ground equipment facilitating the conversion of human-piloted aircraft into prototype and production Unmanned Airborne Systems (UAS) or Optionally Piloted Systems (OPS). At the heart of the X-KIT is an appliance known as the X-CUBE. According to Dr. Iain Peddle, S-PLANE’s Chief Technical Officer: “The X-CUBE interfaces with all the necessary aircraft sub-systems, such as fuel, engine, electrical power, communication and hydraulic systems to manage and control them.”

The X-KIT also includes a selection of satellite and line-of-sight RF datalinks. This communication equipment reliably links the aircraft to S-PLANE’s ground station equipment, such as remote piloting stations and payload operator stations running S-PLANE’s highly configurable ParagonC2 and ParagonISR software. An Integration Testing Station (ITS) facilitates fast and high-fidelity testing of the integrated system for formal acceptance testing of integrated systems.

S-PLANE is highly experienced at the conversion of fixed-wing and rotary-wing aircraft into UAS and OPS, having done so for more than 13 years”, says Dr. Thomas Jones, S-PLANE’s Chief Executive Officer. “This experience allows us to support safe, fast and affordable conversions, even for unconventional aircraft”.

Moreover, S-PLANE readily supplies their solutions to clients intending to certify their airborne systems. Therefore, the necessary X-KIT equipment is developed according to high design assurance levels and the applicable environmental qualification standards. “S-PLANE not only supplies the X-KIT, but supports clients with system design and engineering, configuration, integration, flight testing and certification activities. With this approach our clients optimally benefit from our experience and can be sure that our equipment is properly configured within their larger system,” says Dr. Jones.

Recent examples of public domain projects are listed on S-PLANE’s website, including Tecnam’s P2006T used for Indra’s TARGUS OPS programme and Stemme ES-15-based manned and unmanned airborne surveillance systems.

Internal Links:
S-PLANE: X-KIT product page

External Links:
Airbus: Nature-inspired wing demonstrator completes wind-tunnel tests
Airbus: Airbus launches extra high performance wing demonstrator to fortify decarbonisation ambition
AirInsightGroup: Airbus to test ‘flexible’ wing design
Business Insider: Airbus created a new plane concept with wings modeled off how eagles soar designed to increase efficiency
Simple Flying: Airbus Reveals The Shape-Shifting Xtra-Performance Wing
Engineering News: Airbus announces flight demonstrator project for new technology wing


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