FAA accepts Reliable Robotics certification plan in full


Reliable Robotics announced its full certification plan has been formally accepted by the FAA. 

With a timeline of 18-24 months to get to market, the autonomous flight systems developer said to its knowledge “no other applicant has reached this milestone”. Once certified Reliable’s system will enable continuous autopilot through all phases of aircraft operation including taxi, takeoff and landing.

“It feels great,” Reliable’s co-founder and CEO, Robert Rose (pictured below) told Revolution.Aero. “The FAA has been a great partner. We are incredibly grateful for the guidance, knowledge, and expertise that the FAA have provided to Reliable in support of this important milestone.”

Rose said using existing regulations for normal and transport category aircraft, whilst not requiring any special conditions or exemptions, allows the firm to move through the plan faster. “A good example is with our autoland system. Although autoland systems exist today on some transport category aircraft, these require very costly ground infrastructure for them to work. Our system does not require this ground infrastructure, but we were still able to pull many of the same principles from these systems and adapt them for use in our certification plan,” said Rose.

Robert Rose, co-founder and CEO, Reliable Robotics said the US is leading the way on autonomous aviation.

Juerg Frefel, co-founder and chief technical officer, said the agreement concludes “many years of effort” with the FAA to determine how autonomous systems will be integrated into aircraft.“Working within current rules enables us–and the FAA–to move faster and continue to improve the high levels of safety we have come to expect in aviation,” Frefel said.

There are two phases of certification, both of which Reliable is doing concurrently. “Work does still remain,” said Rose. To complete the compliance planning process, Reliable will submit several more detailed planning documents, referred to as system level certification plans (SLCP). [These are submitted] to obtain agreement on specific technical deliverables to be provided as part of the compliance substantiation process in specific regulatory domain areas.

“We are additionally in the final stage of Issue Paper agreement to establish means of compliance for our novel high-integrity navigation and auto-taxi, auto-takeoff and autoland capabilities,” added Rose.

The firm’s autonomous aircraft system, which recently featured in US Air Force and NASA flight test campaigns, uses high integrity navigation systems to fly in lower visibility weather conditions without ground infrastructure. Also, an “always on” autopilot enables the aircraft to be remotely piloted with continuous engagement from departure to arrival gate.

“Autonomy can and will be certified in the very near future, and this milestone is evidence that the United States and the FAA are going to be leading the way,” said Rose.


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