Skyroads is setting up a flight test site at Augsburg Airport in southern Germany to serve as a development hub for its air traffic automation technology. The Munich-based company will use the facility with its partners to prepare for the integration of new eVTOL aircraft and large drones into controlled airspace, including urban environments.
Investments in the Augsburg site are being co-funded by the state of Bavaria. It will be used as what Skyroads calls “a large-scale real-life laboratory” for aircraft manufacturers and operators, as well as vertiport developers and other ground infrastructure providers, to test equipment and processes.
The organizations involved in the project include eVTOL aircraft developers Superal, Manta, and FlyNow Aviation. Other partners named by Skyroads include public transportation platform Flix, the Technical University of Munich, and drone companies Hybrid-Airplane Technologies and Blueflight, as well as the Horyzn student research initiative and flight controls specialist Amazilia Aerospace.
In an announcement this week, Skyroads said it will use the test site to improve common data communication technologies that support its automated flight control system for advanced air mobility services. The company, which was formerly known as D3 Technologies, also intends the facility to be used for exercises required for the approval of equipment and operations by safety regulators.
Augsburg is already home to several aviation companies and organizations, including MT Aerospace, Rocket Factory, Premium Aerotec, and Germany’s DLR aerospace research agency. Skyroads is now validating and verifying the system architecture it intends to operate at the new location. It is also working with Augsburg Airport to establish an agreement to regulate the planned ground and flight tests.
Skyroads has developed a prototype for its uncrewed traffic management system that consists of an air-to-ground communications system, which the company refers to as a "blue box," that communicates via a cellular network with both the aircraft’s flight control computer and a ground system. The ground system plans routes, supported by what the company calls a "map utility" function that acts as a user interface for entering flight data.