Gonçalves, P., Sobral, J. and Ferreira, L. (2017), “Airworthiness Process Applied to the Portuguese Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems”, Applied Vehicles Technology (AVT) Specialists’ Meeting AVT-273/RSM-048, May 2017, Vilnius, Lithuania

The focus of the Research, Development and Innovation Centre of Portuguese Air Force (CIDIFA) in recent years has been on projects involving Remotely Piloted Aircrafts Systems (RPAS) because of its extensive experience in the development and manufacture of RPAS of Class I. The experience and knowledge accumulated over years in this type of aircraft was transferred to larger aircrafts which are required to be subject to an airworthiness certification process prior to its operation. Due to the absence of a consensual regulatory framework in Europe for certification of RPAS, the regulations applied to manned aircrafts are currently adapted for unmanned aircrafts. This paper shows the result of the work within the safety assessment, the reliability and the development of the initial maintenance plan of the RPAS manufactured and operated under CIDIFA projects. When developing a new system such as RPAS, there is a lack of information. To overcome this difficulty in development of the initial maintenance plan for this new system, it was settled a methodology based on Morphological Analysis which allowed the determination of the reference failure rates, used to determine the maintenance tasks and intervals through the MSG-3 methodology. It will be presented the methodologies employed to carry out the safety assessment of the RPAS ANTEX (SAE ARP 4761), as well as the tools (FMECA) used to evaluate and classify the identified risks. The results obtained allowed to identify and define the critical areas and the mitigations actions, that after being implemented allowed to ensure an acceptable level of risk of operations, and continued airworthiness of the RPAS ANTEX systems through the development of the initial maintenance plan within the Regulators.

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