Piaggio resumes HammerHead flight testing

06 July 2017
The Piaggio Aerospace P.1HH HammerHead in flight. Source: Piaggio Aerospace

Piaggio Aerospace announced on 5 July that it had resumed flight testing of the P.1HH HammerHead MALE UAV.

According to the company, the aircraft resumed flight test activity from Birgi Military Airport at Trapani, Sicily.

A Piaggio Aerospace spokesperson told Jane’s that the flight was a shakedown exercise for the aircraft, with no malfunctions identified. The test data gathered by the engineers is now under examination to clear future flights.

The test also represented the first flight of the company’s second prototype aircraft.

Flight testing of the P.1HH was suspended after the crash of the first prototype into the Mediterranean Sea near Trapani in 2016. Piaggio’s Chief Executive Officer, Renato Vaghi told Jane’s at the 2017 Paris Air Show that the crash had been attributed to overall system integration of the aircraft, saying that, “There was something wrong in the whole chain of the system integration of the aircraft, and that got to a point where the aircraft crashed. We learnt a lot of lessons from the incident, we have understood the root causes, and we think that we have taken every measure to prevent that happening in the future.”

“Overall, the testing found that the aircraft was safe and flew well – the problems were not tied to the airframe or the aeromechanical features themselves.”

Vaghi said that the company had done a lot of engineering work, to prevent it from happening again, and worked with our partners and suppliers to change a few components in the aircraft.

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