Challenge and Innovation - Aiming for new value creation

Research and development of fixed-wing unmanned aircraft "XU-S"

Aiming for new fields in aviation and aerospace
Research and development of Fixed-wing unmanned aircraft "XU-S"

 Background of development

The market for unmanned aircraft including "drones" continues to grow every year, and the fields of application are expected to expand further. Interest in the development of aircraft which can endure flights for "long hours" and "high altitudes" is also increasing at the same time.

Example of new applications expected for unmanned aircraft:

  • Collection of meteorological data for the purpose forecasting and monitoring catastrophic natural disasters
  • Flight surveillance of mountains and oceans accompanying the decrease in population
  • Communication relays utilizing the sky in undeveloped and remote regions of communication networks

ShinMaywa's solution

The Aircraft Division plays a role in the global aircraft industry with reliable technological capability which has continued from the beginning of the company, such as the manufacturing of state-of-the-art parts including the Main Wing Spar for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the manufacturing of the amphibian aircraft "US-2 STOL Search and Rescue Amphibian" for the Ministry of Defense, which is the only aircraft in the world capable of taking off and landing on the open sea.
Taking advantage of such state-of-the-art technology and experience accumulated as a rare complete aircraft manufacturer in Japan, we started research and development of the fixed-wing unmanned aircraft "XU-S (Experimental Unmanned / Utility Aircraft by ShinMaywa)," particularly being aware of the cruising performance and load capacity.
On October 9, 2019, in cooperation with Niigata City a test flight of the "XU-S" was conducted in the city. As a result, as well as accomplishing an autonomous flight exceeding one hour within a visible range at an altitude of 100 meters, the fundamental flight performance was confirmed.
Currently, the research and development are continuing with increased load weight, targeting a performance where the aircraft is able to achieve autonomous flight exceeding a flight duration of four hours.

Test flight of unmanned aircraft "XU-S"

Expected applications of "XU-S"

  1. Collection of monitoring and surveillance data
  2. Radio-wave relay of Internet and mobile phone base stations

Comments of Development Site

Engineering Department, Aircraft Division

 This research started about five years ago. The research activity in the company is just like a shark which will drown unless they continue swimming. If things cannot be created into shapes just by thinking about various ideas, we cannot even approach society to obtain a response in order to understand the needs. For this reason, the most difficult thing I am facing is how to "convince people while I am continuously thinking about what to make, in order to continue acquiring funds, locations and opportunities."
 Fortunately, the test flight of the "XU-S" was successfully completed in Niigata City last year. When the progress was publicized, there were reactions from various research institutions and companies. The greatest outcome was that they expressed new expectations on designs, manufacturing capability and on our business, not only the aircraft fuselage under development, which led to an increase in the motivation of the entire staff. ShinMaywa will carefully pay attention to the opinion of everyone, as well as performing extensive publication of the outcome through continuous development, aiming for realization in society as early as possible.
We will accept requests regarding this business, and inquiries on joint development of any product, not only for aircraft. Please feel free to send your inquiry by e-mail to the following department in charge.

ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd. - Unmanned Aircraft - Contact office: