Xwing submits full certification plan to FAA


Xwing, has submitted a Project Specific Certification Plan (PSCP) to the FAA, to become the first Standard Category large unmanned aerial system (UAS) to receive official project designation.

This marks the beginning of the process for approval of uncrewed commercial cargo operations in the national airspace. Xwing’s PSCP submission is the result of years of collaboration between it and FAA officials to develop a certification plan for UAS approval. With project designation, Xwing is now on a recognised path toward regulatory approval for uncrewed commercial cargo flights. This process represents the first time the FAA has assigned resources to a UAS for a Standard Category airworthiness certificate.

Xwing’s Superpilot technology integrates into existing type certified aircraft to enable uncrewed operations that work within the existing system. This differs from other aviation projects that focus on augmenting piloted operations with autonomous technology or have Special Category certification.

“Xwing is leading the way for aviation automation with a pragmatic approach to compliance and safety,” said Earl Lawrence, chief compliance and quality officer at Xwing. “Adherence to the existing regulatory framework, our operational expertise as an air carrier, and use of already certified aircraft,enables us to meet the high safety standards required in aviation today. With the ability to work transparently within the air traffic control system, Xwing’s technology has the potential to take safety to an even higher level.”

Upon certification, Xwing’s Superpilot system has the potential to improve flight operations via: 

Make high-risk flight phases safer: Xwing is the first certification project to use AI and machine learning to improve the safety of taxi, take-off and landing, the highest-risk phases of commercial aviation.

Increase overall flight safety: Xwing’s automation of all phases of flight with ‘human on-the-loop’ supervision improves safety by combining the ability to communicate in real-time with air traffic control and other aircraft with sensors that can continuously see in the dark, in all weather, and in sun glare.

Reduce operational costs: Without a pilot tied to a physical aircraft, it is possible to reduce pilot costs and fly the aircraft more often, yielding more ROI per aircraft.

Connect more communities: Improving the economics of small aircraft operations and enabling flexible scheduling, cargo carriers can meet the needs of their rural and super-rural customers and offer more access to affordable express cargo options for local businesses.

No planned timeline for the completion of the certification process has yet been released.