Indonesia to operate unmanned aircraft

Indonesia to operate unmanned aircraft

A student of Bandung Institute of Technology doing a final check to his unmanned helicopter named Tricopter in Bandung, several months ago. (FOTO ANTARA/Fahrul Jayadiputra)

... The aircraft has been specially designed and is sophisticated, with extraordinary capabilities, compared to others... "
Sampit, Central Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - Indonesia plans to operate unmanned aircraft in 2013, manufactured by the Agency for Technology Assessment and Application (BPPT), according to minister of research and technology Gusti Muhammad Hatta.

He said here on Saturday that the aircraft's capabilities have been proven, as it had been tested at the Halim Peranakusumah air force base on October 11, 2012.

The minister said "The aircraft has been specially designed and is sophisticated, with extraordinary capabilities, compared to others."

Besides being a surveillance aircraft, it could also be used for taking aerial pictures of an area and in operations to fight forest fires, he said.

He said the aircraft could fly four hours non-stop and could also be used for seeding clouds when making rain.

Its maximum mileage is 70 kilometers with a cruising range of 50 to 79 knots. The aircraft, named "Wulung", could be controlled from a distance of 73 kilometers.

The minister said Wulung could fly up to a height of 12,000 feet and has been tested up to 8,000 feet.

BPPT has made five aircraft at a cost of between Rp6 and Rp8 billion, he said.

The aircraft uses a two-stroke engine burning pertamax gasoline, and is also constructed from composite materials to assure the structure is lightweight.

"With the aircraft, fighting forest fires and rain making would no longer require using salt, since we have discovered its replacement, called pleer," he said.

He said a kilogram of pleer is equal to one ton of salt. The aircraft is able to carry eight kilograms of pleer. 

(H-YH/INE/H-YH/KR-BSR)

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