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ARCA AirStrato

Romania (2015)

Detailing the development and operational history of the ARCA AirStrato Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).

 Entry last updated on 7/6/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ©

  ARCA AirStrato  
Picture of ARCA AirStrato Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Picture of ARCA AirStrato Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Picture of ARCA AirStrato Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The Romanian ARCA AirStrato line of UAVs is being developed as a commercial product with production set to begin in the United States during 2015.

The AirStrato is a Romanian response to the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) industry need for a low-cost commercial Medium- and High-Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE / HALE) air vehicle. It is powered through electrical and solar means coupled to an aerodynamically-refined shape. Flight testing has been ongoing since late-2014 through the New Mexico State University's testing facility with production planned in the United States for sometime in 2015.

The AirStrato series will encompass two distinct production models to cover the medium and high altitude categories. The mid-level variant, known as "Pioneer" (available 2016), will feature a ceiling up to 26,000 feet with a 45 kilogram mission payload and 12-meter wingspan. Its endurance is slated for 20 hours of flight time. The high-level model, named "Explorer", will reach a ceiling of 60,000 feet and hold a greater Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) for a broader mission scope. Its wingspan is 16 meters.
Picture of the ARCA AirStrato Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Picture of the ARCA AirStrato Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

The base design approach incorporates a straight wing mainplane set at midships. The nose section is chined and bulbous, containing the avionics fit. Propulsion is by way of six small, electrically-powered, two-bladed propeller units (Robbe 8085/10 electric motors developing 44 lb thrust each) seated along the mainplane trailing edges. A series of solar cells cover the mainplanes feed onboard batteries. The tailplane is made up of a paired, outward canted arrangement with large downward-cranked tips. Communications relies on satellite or GSM.

As a cost-effective alternative to more complex systems currently in market (or in active development), the AirStrato line will support pneumatic catapult-launching (through the proprietary compact "Accelerator" catapult stand) and parachute recovery. The air system will also support a wheeled, three-point undercarriage for more conventional landings.
ARCA AirStrato Specifications
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Year: 2015
Type: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Manufacturer(s): ARCA Space Corporation - Romania / USA
Production: 6
Supported Mission Types
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Airborne Early Warning
Electronic Warfare
Aerial Tanker
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Special Forces
Crew: 0
Width: 52.49 ft (16.00 m)
Empty Weight: 408 lb (185 kg)
MTOW: 551 lb (250 kg)

Installed Power
6 x Robbe 8085/10 electric motors developing 44 lb propulsion power each.

Standard Day Performance
Maximum Speed: 106 mph (170 kph; 92 kts)
Maximum Range: 522 mi (840 km; 454 nm)
Service Ceiling: 60,007 ft (18,290 m; 11.36 mi)
Rate-of-Climb: 590 ft/min (180 m/min)

None. This UAV is being designed with commercial applications in mind.

Operators List

Series Model Variants
• AirStrato - Base Series Name
• Explorer - 16-meter wingspan; 20hr endurance with 45kg payload; 60,000 foot service ceiling.
• Pioneer - 12-meter wingspan; 12hr endurance with 45kg payload; 26,000 foot service ceiling.

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