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Vira Drones M-500 Logistic (concept design)

Vira Drones M-500 Logistic heavy-lift air cargo hybrid-electric VTOL concept design modular drone

 

M-500 Logistic (concept design)
Vira Drones
Payerne, Switzerland
www.viradrones.com

Vira Drones was founded in November 2018 by CEO Valeriy Gorshkov and CTO Igor Maslov. The company has offices in both Germany and Switzerland. The company is in the business of making medium-lift and heavy-lift, air cargo and fire-rescue, hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drones for advanced air mobility (AAM). On January 26, 2022, Vira Drones was acquired by ILUS International. (Image credit: Vira Drones)

The company is also designing several modular heavy-lift air cargo drones that will connect to each other to form a larger aircraft and these drones will be able to haul heavier and larger-sized payloads. The company's drones are being designed to have a long flight range, a long flight time and be able to fly in most weather conditions.

M-500 Logistic heavy-lift air cargo hybrid-electric VTOL concept design modular drone
The M-500 Logistic is a heavy-lift air cargo-only hybrid-electric VTOL concept design modular drone. The drone is flown using autopilot or has a remote controlled option. The M-500 Logistics has two VTOL modules connected to each other in tandem. A defining feature of the drone is the fuselage is open and the payload is not protected from weather conditions.

The M-500 has a projected cruise speed between 125-150 km/h (77-92 mph), has a calculated range of 320 km (199 m) and has an intended maximum altitude 3,000 m (9,843 ft). The drone has an estimated empty weight of 625 kg (1,378 lb), with an expected maximum payload weight of 500 kg (1,102 lb) and is anticipated to have a maximum takeoff weight of 1,125 kg (2,480 lb). It is important to remember that all concept design aircraft specifications are estimated and can or will change as prototypes and production models are made, tested and flown with real world avionics, components and payloads.

The aircraft has been designed with four propellers, four electric motors and has a hybrid-electric power source. The fuselage is made from carbon fiber composite for a high strength to low weight ratio. The operating temperature range of the aircraft is -40 C (-40 F) to +50 C (122 F). The drone lands on the bottom of its fuselage, there are no landing skids, struts or wheels on the aircraft.

With this modular designed drone, the aircraft can be used as a single drone or it can be connected to one or two other drones that are of the same design. This modular design will allow an increase in payload capacity, flight range or both. However, it is important to remember that addition support beams are needed when adding one or two drones to make a larger heavy-lift drone. The company has the support beams highlighted in orange on the company's M-750 Logistic drone. Also, the avionics and controller needs to be adjusted when a drone is expanded into a larger drone to handle the larger size of the drone, to have more propellers work in conjunction with each other and to handle the heavier payload.

Aerial mission applications
The company foresees their heavy-lift air cargo drones for logistic purposes for missions such as construction, agriculture, ship-to-shore, humanitarian aid and in war zones.

Specifications:

  • Aircraft type: Heavy-lift hybrid-electric VTOL concept design aircraft
  • Piloting: Autopilot or has remote controlled option
  • Capacity: Air cargo only
  • Cruise speed: 125-150 km/h (77-92 mph)
  • Range: 320 km (199 m)
  • Maximum altitude: 3,000 m (9,843 ft)
  • Empty weight: 625 kg (1,378 lb)
  • Maximum payload weight: 500 kg (1,102 lb)
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 1,125 kg (2,480 lb)
  • Propellers: 4 propellers
  • Electric motors: 4 electric motors
  • Power source: Hybrid-electric power source
  • Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite fuselage
  • Operating temperature range: -40 C (-40 F) to +50 C (122 F)
  • Landing gear: Lands on the bottom of the drone's fuselage (there are no landing skids, struts or wheels)
  • Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) means having multiple propellers (or electric ducted fans) and multiple electric motors on an aircraft so if one or more propellers (or electric ducted fans) or some electric motors fail, the other working propellers (or electric ducted fans) and electric motors can safely land the aircraft. DEP provides safety through redundancy for its passengers or cargo. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft providing safety through redundancy for its passengers or cargo. Having multiple redundant systems on any aircraft decreases having any single point of failure.

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