The Sabrewing Draco-2 is an autonomously operated eVTOL that utilizes a conventional wing as the lifting surface, paired with 4 ducted fans that provide thrust. The Sabrewing is being developed in Camarillo, California.
Stage of Development
Type: Fixed Wing Quad Rotor
Wingspan: 38ft 1in (9.144 meters)
Fuselage Length: 28ft 2in (6.13 meters)
Height (Gear Retracted): 6ft 9in (2.01 meters)
Empty Weight: 1100 lbs (278 kg)
Maximum Gross Weight: 3400 lbs (1157 kg)
Maximum Speed: 180 knots
Range: 4,950 nm (8,334 km)
Power: Hybrid-Electric Drive
Propulsion: (Eight) Electric Propulsion motors
Max power, each motor: 24kW
Cruise power, each motor: 14kW
C3: Cobham Aviator 200 UAV Satcom
Transponder: uAvionix Ping 200SR Mode-S/ADS-B
Sense-And-Avoid: Attollo Engineering WASP-LRF 200/100
Autopilot: EuroAvionics RN-7 (Triple-Redundant w/IMU)
From the Draco website:
The DRACO-2 is designed to fly non-stop and un-refueled for 4500 nautical miles (8800 kilometers). It launches from a standard runway, and provides near-real-time video from on-board the air vehicle for the first 150 miles of flight. At cruise altitude, it then switches to high-resolution, low-light, on-board cameras that are updated every 5 seconds and provide a view of the aircraft path and the air vehicle's location over land or water. Day or night, good weather or bad, the Rapier has the capability of flying for days without stopping or refueling.
For added safety, the DRACO-2 has a unique, proprietary sense-and-avoid sensor suite that detects objects that may conflict with the air vehicle's flight path - and can instantly turn right or left, climb or descend - to autonomously avoid anything in its way...even as small as a bird. The DRACO-2 can even fly safely on two rotors - and every essential system on board is redundant to assure mission completion.
The DRACO-2 is controlled via satellite, and is in constant communication with both the Launch and Recover Element ("LRE" - located at the launch point in Japan) and Mission Control Element ("MCE" - located at the destination landing point of Moffett Field, Mountain View, California, USA). The air vehicle is monitored by two pilots on the ground, in constant contact with Air Traffic Control. The trip is expected to last about 45 hours - and provide spectacular views of the air vehicle and its flight path - both day and night - while in flight.
The entire flight - from takeoff, climb, cruise and landing - will be available on the Pacific Drone ChallengeTM website.
Our Take on the Draco-2
The Draco-2 UAS is being constructed by a formidable team, and shares formidable performance predictions. The Draco-2's range of 4500nm is one of the highest among any eVTOL, nonetheless a high figure among aircraft in general. Additionally, the engineering and flight testing operations team at Sabrewing is very well experienced and versed in high-risk test operations and has successfully shepherded a large number of experimental flight test programs (including the Red Bull Stratos jump) through safe completion. While the Sabrewing team may be slightly behind pace with a full-scale prototype, the team is making solid progress towards finalizing proof-of-concept validation test beds before moving forward.
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