The Sabrewing Rhaegal RG-1 is an autonomously operated eVTOL that utilizes a conventional wing as the lifting surface, paired with 4 tilting ducted fans that provide thrust in both vertical and horizontal flight. The design parameters of the Rhaegal RG-1- to fly non-stop and un-refueled for 4500 nm (8800 km) - are driven by the qualifications of the Pacific Drone Challenge. The vehicle is being developed in Camarillo, California; however, the project may be dormant due to a lack of publicized progress.
Stage of Development
Aircraft Type: Winged VTOL
Range: ~5696 miles
Top Speed: 270 mph
Propeller Configuration: 4 electric propulsion motors
Passenger/Payload Capacity: 5400 lbs / 2454 kg
Autonomy Level: Semi-Autonomous/remote pilot
Dimensions: 38 ft 1 in wingspan, 28 ft 2 in fuselage length, 6 ft 9 in height (gear retracted)
Empty Weight: 2399 lbs / 1090 kg
Maximum Gross Weight: 8836 lbs / 4016 kg
Internal Cargo Volume: 570 cu.ft / 16 cu.m
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)
The Rhaegal RG-1 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 Rhaegal RG-1 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 Rhaegal RG-1 can even fly safely on two rotors - and every essential system on board is redundant to assure mission completion.
The Rhaegal RG-1 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 Rhaegal RG-1 UAS is being constructed by a formidable team, and is designed to achieve impressive, if aspirational, performance predictions. The Rhaegal RG-1 range of 4500nm is one of the highest among any eVTOL, and 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. Although prototype photos are available on Sabrewing's website, no recent progress has been made public regarding the development of the Rhaegal RG-1.