The Sabrewing is using the RH-1-A sub-scale prototype to develop a new powerplant for the larger Rhaegal UAV.
Last week, the Sabrewing Aircraft Company achieved a first hover flight with its RH-1-A Rhaegal VTOL autonomous cargo unit. The pre-production prototype took off carrying an 829 lb. payload, which the California-based start-up claims to be a new record for a self-piloted eVTOL aircraft.
“This is only a fraction of what this aircraft can carry,” said Sabrewing chairman and CEO Ed De Reyes. “But it proves that we’re able to lift more cargo on our maiden flight than any previous cargo UAV.”
Currently, the Saberwing aircraft is powered by a 1,900 HP turbo-electric version of the Arriel 2E turboshaft engine produced by France’s Safran group. The turboshaft engine, which can run on a 50 percent blend of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), powers an electric generator that produces nearly 1 MW (1341 mechanical horsepower) of electrical power to run the UAV’s four tilting, ducted fans.
Sabrewing UAV Ready for (Sales) Liftoff
The Sabrewing Aircraft Company took its first commercial orders for its Rhaegal-B unmanned eVTOL cargo aircraft last year, when the Arabian Development & Marketing Co. (ADMC) placed a $600 million (ish) order for 102 of the VTOL UAVs. The deal with ADMC will also result in the Riyadh-based company establishing aircraft assembly, maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities in Saudi Arabia and Africa to service the region’s Rhaegal-B fleet.
Last week’s flight, no doubt, will inspire confidence for both the ADMC and other potential buyers. “We are extremely proud to have accomplished this milestone,” said De Reyes. “It’s been a long journey to get here, but we were unwilling to compromise safety or design. Our design and test teams — and our development partners — invested tens of thousands of hours in such a history-making success.”
SOURCE | IMAGES: SABERWING, VIA FUTURE FLIGHT.
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