Sabrewing Plane Firm, Inc. introduced right this moment that its RH-1-A “Rhaegal” (pronounced “Rye-gull”) VTOL air cargo drone had achieved its first hover flight whereas lifting a record-setting payload. This pre-production air car, also referred to as the RG-1-A “Alpha” mannequin, was capable of elevate a record-breaking 829-pound (374 kg) payload, shattering the earlier world file for the “dead-lift” of any business, vertical takeoff, uncrewed air car (UAV).
The Rhaegal “Alpha” plane is the world’s first autonomous cargo plane able to each vertical and traditional take-off and is designed to take tons of cargo to any location on Earth, in nearly any climate.
“We’re extraordinarily proud to have completed this milestone,” said Ed De Reyes, chairman and CEO of Sabrewing. “It’s been an extended journey to get right here, however we have been unwilling to compromise security or design. Our design and checks groups—and our growth companions—invested tens of hundreds of hours to make this milestone such a history-making success,” De Reyes added.
Huge enhancements to the blades, ducts, and form of the shroud of the plane’s ducted followers allowed every duct to supply 30% extra thrust than it was initially designed to offer. These enhancements contributed to the plane’s potential to elevate the record-shattering payload. The pre-production prototype plane weighed simply over 2,700 kilos (1,225 kg) for the primary flight and is able to a most gross weight (with payload) of as much as 3,100 kilos (1,406 kg) at altitudes as much as 22,000 ft (6700 meters) and 200 knots. When taking off conventionally, this plane has sufficient thrust to hold over 2 tons of cargo with the identical vary, altitude, velocity, and effectivity.
“That is solely a fraction of what this plane can carry. However it proves that we’re capable of elevate extra cargo on our maiden flight than any earlier cargo UAV that has ever flown,” mentioned De Reyes.
The Rhaegal plane makes use of a turbo-electric drivetrain based mostly on Safran’s Helicopter Engines turbine-based motor, the Ariel 2E. The Ariel can use 50% sustainable aviation gas (SAF), and turns an electrical generator which produces almost 1 megawatt of electrical vitality which in flip then powers electrical motors in every of the 4 ducted followers.
“We’re capable of generate extra propulsive vitality – far more effectively – with a turbo-electric drivetrain and ducted followers than with batteries or straight pushed by the turbine,” mentioned Oliver Garrow, Chief Expertise Officer for Sabrewing. “The Safran motor is presently cleared to make use of 50% sustainable aviation gas (SAF). We count on to be one of many first plane producers to make use of hydrogen when Safran completes testing on their motor within the subsequent couple of years,” Garrow said.
The plane was developed in partnership with Safran (turboshaft motors), Leonardo Aerospace (avionics), Toray (composite supplies), Garmin (navigation), Attollo Engineering (LIDAR), Spider Tracks (distant positioning), US Cargo Techniques (cargo flooring) in addition to software program growth by Cal State Channel Islands, The Ohio State College, UCLA and Oklahoma College. The Rhaegal is the world’s best-in-class, highest gas and upkeep effectivity cargo UAV available on the market.
The Rhaegal RG-1-B “Bravo” manufacturing plane is designed for first, center and final mile cargo deliveries. It will probably elevate over 10 occasions extra cargo than its closest competitor, fly 5 occasions farther, and function in any airspace – from essentially the most congested metropolis to essentially the most distant location.
Rhaegal is able to opening new places and revenue facilities for its operators, on account of its vary, gas effectivity, and ease of upkeep. It’s also able to a spread of missions apart from heavy elevate cargo – together with search and rescue, firefighting, catastrophe aid, medical deliveries (together with frozen vaccines), and even gas and water deliveries. With such an extended vary and payload functionality, each Rhaegal fashions are wonderful for catastrophe restoration and humanitarian missions – similar to in Ukraine. The Rhaegal “Bravo” is the one cargo UAV that’s able to carrying over ten totally different Unit Load System (ULD) cargo containers –the identical sort utilized by airways for cargo. The Rhaegal may even energy refrigerated cargo containers – referred to as “reefers” – each on the bottom and within the air – and has over 675 cubic ft (19 m3) of cargo house.
Sabrewing presently has buy orders for 28 of the plane – destined for the World Meals/World Well being program – and one other 102 agency orders, and letters of intent for over 400 plane; these orders characterize a $3.2 billion order ebook over the subsequent 6-7 years. Sabrewing additionally has contracts with the US Air Pressure to check the usage of autonomous cargo supply to austere environments, and even an indication of casualty evacuation for as much as 8 injured individuals.
Because the plane nears certification (Sabrewing was the primary VTOL firm to succeed in a ‘Foundation of Certification’ settlement with the FAA in October of 2019), Sabrewing has additionally been working with the European Aviation Security Company (EASA) to start certification flight testing of its plane. The primary 28 plane are on account of start deliveries to the primary buyer by December of 2023.
About Sabrewing Plane Firm
Sabrewing Plane Firm was based in 2016 and constructed the prototype plane in Hayward, California. The Sabrewing crew has over 98 years of plane design and manufacturing expertise, and the flight take a look at crew has over 145 years of flight take a look at and certification expertise with the FAA, EASA, CAA, Air Transport Canada, and a number of other different regulatory businesses. Sabrewing’s d growth companions have offered an extra 46 engineers of all disciplines, making the Rhaegal plane the best-designed, best-in-class automobiles within the sky. For extra data go to: www.sabrewingaircraft.com