Swiss Army Hermes 900 Crash Investigation Completed
- An Israeli investigation into last year’s crash of a UAV ordered by the Swiss army has found that the cause was a structural design flaw which has since been fixed.
- The Hermes 900 HFE crashed during a test flight last August in the Israeli desert, where it was completely destroyed. No injuries or collateral damage were reported.
- According to the Swiss army, the manufacturer, Elbit systems, has since concluded its investigation, and rectified the structural problem that caused the tail unit to become detached from the fuselage.
- During a high-speed maneuver, the investigation found, with the UAV flying close to its “symmetric-flutter boundary”, severe structural oscillations led in “a very short period and aggressive process” to the tail unit coming detached, and then the crash.
- The problem has since been resolved, without any large scale design changes, and the damages paid for completely by Elbit, the Swiss army said.
- According to the army statement, the delays are mainly due to a difficult certification process with Israel’s civil aviation authorities, as well as to a slower than expected development of a “sense-and-avoid” radar system to be fitted to the drones. Covid-19 also “disrupted industry and severely limited cooperation with the supplier due to travel restrictions and quarantine requirements”, the army wrote.
- The six unmanned aircraft are expected to be used to monitor Switzerland’s borders and help in the fight against crime tourism, irregular migration and organised smuggling.
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