> our title:

Leonardo’s Falco UAV Cruises Past 15,000 Flying Hours Mark

> original title:

Falco Family Looks the Future As It Cruises Past 15,000 Flying Hours Mark

(Source: Leonardo; issued Feb 25, 2018)

Despite its relatively low public profile compared to other unmanned aircraft, Leonardo’s Falco family has reached the 15,000-flight hour mark, operating for five international customers including the United Nation’s Monusco mission. (Leonardo photo)

-- Leonardo’s Falco remotely-piloted air vehicles have logged more than 15,000 hours of operational flight time with its five international customers
-- Falco can be procured outright or can be operated as a service by Leonardo, providing surveillance and reconnaisance data directly to the customer
-- The Falco family continues to find success as it develops and expands, with the newest Falco Evo model having seen its first delivery to a customer towards the end of last year

ABU DHABI --- Leonardo’s Falco family of Remotely-Piloted Air Vehicles (RPAS) have together logged more than 15,000 hours of operational flight. The milestone was announced by the Company at UMEX, the United Arab Emirates’ specialist unmanned systems exhibition, on the 25 February.

Since its maiden flight in 2003, more than 50 Falco family RPAS have been brought into operation around the world with five customers. While some users choose to operate the surveillance and intelligence-gathering platform independently, others opt for Leonardo to own and operate its own Falco aircraft and provide surveillance data as an air service operator. This latter model is becoming increasingly popular, with a reference customer for Leonardo being the United Nations.

Here, Leonardo has flown Falco RPAS for thousands of hours over its first four years of support for the organisation’s humanitarian MONUSCO mission.

As the Falco continues to evolve, the latest addition to the family, called the Falco Evo, is already proving to be a success, having been selected by two customers in the Middle East and Gulf region. The Falco Evo is the longest-endurance model in the family, offering customers more than 20 hours of flight time while carrying a payload of up to 100 kg. Falco Evo is capable of carrying a range of highly-capable Leonardo sensors including the company’s Osprey and Gabbiano UL (Ultra-Light) radars and customers can also choose to equip the platform with third-party sensors.

Leonardo is the only company in Europe able to offer a complete end-to-end RPAS system including its sensors/comms, mission management systems and ground control stations.

Leonardo is among the top ten global players in Aerospace, Defence and Security and Italy’s main industrial company. As a single entity from January 2016, organised into seven business divisions (Helicopters; Aircraft; Aero-structures; Airborne & Space Systems; Land & Naval Defence Electronics; Defence Systems; Security & Information Systems), Leonardo operates in the most competitive international markets by leveraging its areas of technology and product leadership. Listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (LDO), in 2016 Leonardo recorded consolidated revenues of 12 billion Euros and has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the UK, the U.S. and Poland.