Sabrewing Aircraft Company
Camarillo, CA, USA
The DRACO-2 is a 65% scale Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) prototype of Sabrewing's Wyvern and is a demonstrator aircraft designed to fly non-stop and un-refueled for 4500 nm (8800 km) as part of the Pacific Drone Challenge. Sabrewing is also developing an unmanned aircraft named the Rhaegal RG-1.
The fixed-wing vehicle uses eight propellers in a co-axial formation in four rotating ducts forward of the wing and at the ends of a high stabilizer-like structure. It can fly safely with two rotors disabled. A hybrid system powers eight 24 kW motors for a maximum speed of 180 knots (333 km/h) and a range of 4,950 nm (8,334 km). The wingspan is 38 ft (9.14 m) and the fuselage is 28 ft (6.13 m). Empty and gross weights are 1,100 lbs (278 kg) and 3,400 lbs (1157 kg) respectively. Although unmanned, DRACO-2 is large enough that it could accommodate passenger transportation over shorter distances.
The DRACO is semi-autonomous. Real-time video from onboard the air vehicle allows remote control using two pilots for the first 150 miles of flight. At cruise altitude, it switches to a high-resolution, low-light camera system that updates every 5 seconds. It also employs a proprietary sensor suite that detects objects as small as a bird and autonomously avoids the obstacle. The craft is controlled via satellite by the Launch and Recover Element ("LRE" — located at the launch point in Japan) or Mission Control Element ("MCE" - located at the destination landing point of Moffett Field, Mountain View, California, USA).
The Pacific Drone Challenge trip is expected to last about 25 hours. No time frame has been released on when the vehicle will be ready for test flights.
Sabrewing Draco-2 Characteristics (updated May 2018):
||Fixed Wing Quad Rotor
||38 ft 1 in
||28 ft 2 in
|Height (Gear Retracted)
||6 ft 9 in
|Maximum Gross Weight
||8 electric propulsion motors
|Max power, each motor
|Cruise power, each motor
||C3: Cobham Aviator 200 UAV Satcom
||uAvionix Ping 200SR Mode-S/ADS-B
||Attollo Engineering WASP-LRF 200/100
||EuroAvionics RN-7 (Triple-Redundant w/IMU)