Xwing’s Uncrewed Aircraft System, Superpilot, Becomes FAA’s First ‘Standard’ UAS Certification Project
San Francisco, CA – WEBWIRE – Friday, April 7, 2023
- Xwings Superpilot is the first Uncrewed Aircraft System certification project designed to meet the full standard airworthiness safety requirements that the FAA has established for traditional passenger aircraft
- Xwings certification project is the first Uncrewed Aircraft System to include Artificial Intelligence (AI), which is used to improve the safety of operations at or around runways.
- The company, which has operated a Part 135 air carrier since 2021 and flies 400 feeder cargo flights a week for UPS, is working closely with the FAA to transition its full fleet of Cessna Caravans to fully remote cargo operations
Autonomous aviation company, Xwing, has submitted a Project Specific Certification Plan (PSCP) to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), becoming 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.
Unlike other aviation projects that focus on augmenting piloted operations with autonomous technology or have Special Category certification, Xwings Superpilot technology integrates into existing type certified aircraft to enable uncrewed operations that work within the existing air traffic control system. Superpilot harnesses advanced AI and machine learning technologies to become the worlds first fully autonomous gate-to-gate flight technology.
The companys PSCP submission is the result of years of collaboration between Xwing and FAA officials to develop a certification plan for UAS approval. With project designation, Xwing is now on a recognized 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. Although focused on air cargo operations, Superpilot will be benchmarked against the current aviation safety standards for passenger aircraft, among the highest standards of avionic safety.
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, Xwings technology has the potential to take safety to an even higher level.
The companys pragmatic approach to autonomous system development is accelerating the introduction of complete autonomy within air cargo. Upon certification, Xwings 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: Xwings 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.
The news arrives as airlines continue to struggle with pilot shortages, with United Airlines announcing that it expects carriers will need 10,000 new pilots this year but only have 6,000 qualified candidates. Simultaneously, e-commerce sales are set to top $6.3 trillion this year, increasing demand for regional transportation and delivery services. Together with its logistics partners, Xwing plans to bridge this gap in the market upon certification.
For more information on Xwing, visit https://xwing.com/.
Founded in 2016, Xwing is a San Francisco-based autonomous aviation company that addresses unmet logistics needs in regional air cargo via its uncrewed air transportation system, Superpilot. Xwing is the only company with an active FAA certification project that will bring uncrewed, autonomous aircraft to market with passenger-level safety standards across all flight phases. For more information, visit xwing.com. For media inquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.