Hawker Beechcraft in collaboration with Rockwell Collins have conducted a successful flight and landing mission using the Bonanza aircraft with an experimental auto-landing device attached.

The landing device technology, originally developed for unmanned air systems (UAS), enables the planes to land on their own without the aid of the pilot.

The single piston Bonanza G36 has a speed of up to 202mph and a maximum range of 1,100 miles.

Rockwell Collins Control Technologies senior director David Vos said the project shows what is possible to leverage UAS technology to potentially serve as a digital parachute in emergency situations.

“We look for opportunities to further enhance safety in a future airspace where manned, unmanned and optionally manned aircraft can co-exist,” Vos said.

The modified Bonanza had been equipped with an experimental fly-by-wire flight control system and carried three crew members to observe and monitor system operation and provide a backup control capability.

The flight guidance and control cues during the tests have been provided by a Rockwell Collins Athena 411 that combines INS/GPS, AHRS, air-data system and flight-control capability.