15 August 2020- After almost 3 years of intense work, and despite the Covid-19 disruptions, the team is almost ready to 3D print the first air-frame.

Our amazing Engineers, David van der Merwe and Carel Kriek have been working tirelessly alongside Robert and we are now down to only a handful of items that we need to complete before we can print the first test air-frame.

A huge thank you needs to go out to the amazing team from Mecad Systems for their ongoing support and to Dassault Systèmes, especially Stephane Bonnamour and Omar Zohani, who have become more than just our incredible Solidworks partners but rather have become an integral part of the team. We couldn’t have done this without your continued support.

So where to next…

As soon as the final items have been signed off we will 3D print the first wing and fuselage cell. This will get assembled with all of the electronics, motors and propellers. It will then be mounted on a test bench where it will be put through its paces and if it passes, which we have no reason to doubt it won’t, it will be coupled with the rest of the fuselage to commence flight testing.

Specifications

  • Wing span – 1980 mm
  • Fuselage length – 1360 mm
  • MTOM – 6kg
  • Max payload – 2.2kg
  • Cruising speed -16m/s
  • Stall speed – N/a due to the unique propulsion system

Construction

  • Wing and wing Core – Multi Jet Fusion printed PA12 and Milled Carbon plates
  • Nose Cone – Milled XPS
  • Tail Boom – Milled XPS with a Carbon Fiber spar
  • V-Tail – Multi Jet Fusion printed PA12
  • Front Motor Mounts – Multi Jet Fusion printed PA12 mounted on Carbon Fiber spars
  • Rear Motor Mounts – Multi Jet Fusion printed PA12 and aluminium plates

Propulsion

  • Front Motors – Fixed KDE 4014XF-380 motors with 18″ carbon Fiber propellers and proprietary propeller locking system
  • Rear Motors – Articulating mounts with KDE 2315XF-885 motors and 3 bladed 9″ carbon propellers. Mounts can move past 90° to provide braking.

Electronics

  • Autopilot – Orange CUBE with Ardupilot
  • Navigation system – Dual HERE+ GPS receivers, one in each wing.
  • Collision Avoidance – PING RX ADS-B receiver
  • Video broadcast and Telemetry – Herelink
  • Companion Computer – Raspberry Pi Compute or NVIDIA Jetson
  • Flight Systems – Retractable FPV camera, Retractable digital speed sensor, LIDAR for accurate height above ground.
  • Payload – Modular payload bay supporting a wide range of payloads up to 2.2kg
  • Power – 2 or 4 x 12000 mAh battery packs delivering an estimated flight time of 5-6 hours

Take-off and landing

Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) with unique outer wing sections that lower to act as landing gear during VTOL and rise during normal flight. The lowered wings also change the lift characteristics of the wing, making the UAV more controllable when close to the ground.