AUSTRALIA (Reuters) – A remote-controlled aerial vehicle has been launched into space by a remote-control plane in a test flight in the northern city of Darwin, state authorities said on Friday.
The unmanned aircraft, which is equipped with an infrared camera, was launched at around 5 p.m. local time (2030 GMT) on the remote airstrip, which was built by Australian firm Tuggeranong Air Services.
A team of about 30 people aboard the unmanned aircraft was flying a drone on a trial flight, a spokesman for the state’s Civil Aviation Authority said.
He said the pilot of the plane, who has been a remote pilot since he was 14, was in good spirits.
“He is a very happy chap, a good lad, who likes to fly,” he said.
The Tuggersanong team said the flight was “an excellent achievement” and that the drone’s infrared camera “will be deployed on a wide variety of tasks”.
“We will be able to see the terrain, the trees, the bush, everything,” Tuggsanong CEO Alex O’Brien said.
“This is a really exciting time for us.”
Tuggerans team had planned to test the drone on an island near the city of Hobart, where the company has its operations.
The drone was developed with funding from the U.S. Air Force, which has been helping the state build its infrastructure.