Research and development of the Fixed-Wing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle "XU-S"

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

Latest efforts

The fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “XU-S”

Main specifications
Dimensions Total length 2.5m x total width (wing span) 6.0m x total height 0.4m
Flight weight 8.0kg
Material Fiber reinforced composite
Flight control system Radio Control System/Autonomous Control System
Power system Lithium polymer battery
Propulsion system Twin-engine electric motor/propeller

Expected applications of “XU-S”

“XU-S” application conceptual diagram
  1. 1.Collection of monitoring and surveillance data
  2. 2.Radio wave relay of internet and mobile phone base station, etc.

In addition to forecasting and observing large-scale natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons, the importance of collecting data on new meteorological phenomena such as torrential rain and PM2.5 has increased in recent years. Observing these objects requires the ability to quickly cover a wide area over a long period of time. Similar performance is also required for flight surveillance in mountains and sea areas due to depopulation. Furthermore, in the field of information and communications, communication relays are expected by linking various systems in areas where communication networks are underdeveloped or fragmented.

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.

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.
Not only did the test flight conducted the following year achieve a long flight duration of three hours forty-two minutes, but it traveled 135 kilometers as well. We are currently still working with a range of institutions and enterprises to conduct various demonstration tests to move closer to commercialization.

Test flight of unmanned aerial vehicle "XU-S"

Comments of Development Site

Mr. Miyauchi
  Engineering Department, 
Aircraft Division

This research started at 2015. 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.

Looking for business partners

The technology we are currently developing allows us to change the size of the aircraft, propulsion system, payload loading method, takeoff and landing/water system, etc. according to needs in addition to the above fields. We welcome requests regarding performance and missions, as well as consultations regarding joint development.

ShinMaywa Industries, Ltd. Unmanned aircraft Inquiry Desk: