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Israeli-designed drones fly over Alma, Que.

Israeli-designed drones have begun making demonstration flights out of the small Lac St. Jean city of Alma, in conjunction with Montreal-based CAE Inc.

Last August, CAE, a leader in the manufacture of flight simulators and other aviation training equipment, and Aeronautics Ltd., one of Israel’s largest defence corporations, announced an agreement on a research-and-development project in the non-military uses of drones.

Alma’s airport is the site of the new Centre d’excellence sur les drones. Located 175 km north of Quebec City, Alma has a population of about 30,000.

CAE announced April 11 that the first series of flights of the Miskam drone had been conducted successfully over a period of several weeks.

“The demonstration flights represent the first phase of an R & D project aimed at demonstrating how unmanned aerial systems [UAS] can be used for civil applications, such as remote inspection of pipelines and hydroelectric installations, surveillance of forest fires, observation of critical natural resources, assessing natural disasters and a range of other applications,” CAE said in a statement.

The Miskam is a Canadian version of the twin-engine Aeronautics Dominator XP, which can fly for up to 24 hours and carry a significant payload.

“We are very excited to be working closely with CAE and the entire team in Canada to showcase our UAS capabilities as part of Project Miskam,” said Aeronautics CEO Avi Leumi. “As potential customers and the general public at large begin to understand the tremendous benefits offered, we expect the use of unmanned systems to become more widespread.”