Taranis Flight Testing

13 November 2017

Prestwick Airport


Jon has been involved in the Taranis programme since its birth in 2005, with responsibilities for the safe planning and execution of the flight trials; culminating in his participation as the Lead Flight Test Engineer for Taranis first flight in August 2013. Jon holds a delegated Flight Test Design Approval Signatory from the UK MAA for UAS Flight Trials and is a member of the RAeS. He was particularly proud to be a part of the team that won the RAeS Silver Team medals for both the Mantis (2010) and Taranis (2014) projects.

The presentation introduces the objectives, scope and challenges of the Taranis programme; discussing the approach adopted with respect to the safety case that is considered necessary to test a large, experimental unmanned technology demonstrator. By combining safety by design and additional operational mitigations, a viable safety case has been constructed to permit experimental flight trials of this unique UK aircraft.

Maintained, operated and monitored by a full team of mission specialists, support specialists, imaging specialists and ground crew; a series of flight tests have now been completed to confirm the performance and functionality of the systems, avionics, imaging sensors and low observable technologies. The flight test philosophy and techniques utilised during the trials are presented, along with the approach taken with Mission Planning and Mission Crew training. Finally, an overview of the flight trials content for the first two flight phases is presented, concluding with an indication of how the inherent capabilities of the demonstrator aircraft will be developed in the future to achieve an operational capability downstream of the demonstration programme.

Speaker Details

Paddy Bourne/John Wiggal


Prestwick Branch

Prestwick Airport

107 Glasgow Prestwick Intnl Airport,