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SSASS Holdings takes flight with new SR-25E VTOL

Updated: Feb 28

February 13th 2024, Pretoria South Africa - SSASS Holdings has completed a series of test flights of their new VTOL unmanned aircraft offering, the all-electric SR-25E.


Photo credit: Dean Polley

The SR-25E project is a joint collaboration initiative with uAvionix Corporation, a US based company that specialises in the design and manufacture of low SWaP (Size, Weight and Power) certified and uncertified avionics for General Aviation (GA), Airport Surface Vehicles and the UAS markets.


The SR-25E is a IP44 rated composite airframe with a 4.2-meter wingspan. The main power source is a set of four x 30,000 mAh batteries that supply a central power distribution module. This in turn provides various voltage level outputs to power the onboard avionics, electronic speed controllers, servos and electric motors. The avionics is an integrated set of aviation grade components supplied by uAvionix and comprises the George G3 autopilot, truFYX GPS, SkyLink radio systems, pingRX Pro ADS-B receiver and a ping200X Mode S ADS-B transponder.


George Autopilot

At the heart of flight control is the George autopilot. George uses the highest-quality GPS, C2 Radio, airspeed, Detect and Avoid (DAA) and military-grade geomagnetic sensors for unprecedented accuracy and platform integrity.

George is built on the trusted and proven CubePilot autopilot. Unmanned systems have limited energy resources to support missions, therefore George is engineered specifically to minimize size, weight and power consumption for longer flight times and larger payloads.

The same rigorous safety standards have been maintained to UAS that have ensured aviation as the safest form of transportation. George is engineered to DO-160G and MIL-810H environmental standards and designed to meet DO-254 DAL C.


George is available with integrated ADS-B IN or by adding pingRX Pro to see nearby aircraft. For high altitude and mission-critical operations, adding the ping200X Mode S Transponder with ADS-B OUT allows the aircraft to be seen by surrounding aircraft and for access to controlled airspace.


All interfaces are subjected to extensive testing for normal and abnormal power conditions, lightning and interference rejection. The George is optimised for VTOL. While George provides the flexibility of the Pixhawk platform, it’s sweet spot is optimised for Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) Fixed Wing platforms, the most flexible and energy-efficient combo to

emerge in aviation in over a century.


The SR-25E has a flight endurance of between three and three and a half hours, depending on the payload weight. The maximum payload capacity is up to 10 Kg and with a radio line-of-sight range of up to 100 kilometres, the SR-25E is highly suitable as an affordable and highly effective long range high endurance surveillance solution. One of the intelligent features of the autopilot is the automatic determination of wind direction.


During the RTL (Return To Land) phase of the flight, the aircraft will fly in a circular path with the RTL at the epicentre of the circle. During the circular flight, the autopilot will determine the wind direction and will then automatically break out of the circular flight path and transition into VTOL mode, into the wind.


Dean Polley, CEO of SSASS Holdings - Photo credit: Athol Franz, African Pilot

Radio links

SkyStation 5060 Ground Radio System

What differentiates the SR-25E from other platforms is the separation of the C2 radio link from the data and gimbal control radio link. The onboard SkyLink air radio system is seamlessly integrated with the George autopilot and is paired with the SkyStation ground radio system.


This provides a Control and a Non-Payload Communications (CNPC) link which is unique to unmanned systems and adheres to aviation industry standard specifications

defined by RTCA DO-362A and FAA TSO-C213a. CNPC focuses on critical safety-of-life information transfer for reliable, deterministic, low-latency and certifiable radio and BVLOS operations.


SkyLink and SkyStation operate in 902-

928 MHz (ISM) or aviation-protected 5030-5091 MHz (C-Band) configurations. Multiple SkyStations can be deployed to support network and frequency roaming on the SkyLine C2 network.




Surveillance payloads

The SR-25E can carry a variety of integrated surveillance gimbals. SSASS Holdings has standardised on a proven range of IP67 rated EO / IR surveillance gimbals that have specifically been developed for military applications. This will ensure uninterrupted video

surveillance in harsh conditions during mission critical flight operations.


About SSASS Holdings

SSASS Holdings is dedicated to delivering cutting-edge technology and innovative solutions with a strong focus on security and surveillance applications. The company name and brand, SSASS, symbolise core pillars: Solutions, Sensors, Aircraft, Software and Services. With an

unwavering commitment to excellence, SSASS is revolutionising the unmanned aircraft landscape. Specialising in the design and delivery of industry-leading multirotors and customised Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) unmanned aircraft, SSASS is at the forefront of long-range and high-endurance surveillance missions. Its state-of-the-art aircraft, combined with advanced sensor integration, allow the company to provide advanced solutions tailored to meet the unique needs of its customers. To learn more about SSASS Holdings unmanned products and services, please visit: www.ssass.co.za.


About uAvionix

uAvionix is a leading provider of advanced avionics solutions that are lightweight, compact, and designed to meet the needs of crewed and uncrewed aviation across the globe. Committed to safety, efficiency and innovation, uAvionix empowers aviators with the latest technology, systems and data to achieve their mission in flight. To learn more about uAvionix crewed and uncrewed products and services, please visit the website www.uavionix.com


For media inquiries:

Brit Wanick e-mail Brit.wanick@uavionix.com


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