STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Bluebird Aero Systems - Israel
OPERATORS: Israel; India (committed)
LENGTH: 4.43 feet (1.35 meters)
WIDTH: 9.02 feet (2.75 meters)
WEIGHT (EMPTY): 15 pounds (7 kilograms)
WEIGHT (MTOW): 20 pounds (9 kilograms)
ENGINE: 1 x Engine driving a two-bladed propeller unit at the rear of the fuselage in pusher fashion.
SPEED (MAX): 75 miles-per-hour (120 kilometers-per-hour; 65 knots)
RANGE: 31 miles (50 kilometers; 27 nautical miles)
CEILING: 3,281 feet (1,000 meters; 0.62 miles)
Detailing the development and operational history of the Bluebird Aero Spylite Unmanned Aircraft System.
Entry last updated on 9/6/2018.
Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com.
The world of small, portable Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) is a big one with many players found all over the world. As such, customers have the pick-of-the-litter when it comes to securing the right platform for the right over-battlefield need. Bluebird Aero Systems of Israel produces the Spylite for the "Small, High-Altitude" reconnaissance and data-collecting role and has garnered attention from defense powerhouses such as India.
The Spylite system utilizes a crew of just two ground personnel to setup, launch, operate and recover the UAS. Its payload is variable and can consist of sensors and HD cameras for real-time, high-resolution (1080p) recording and the product can be controlled up to ranges of 50 kilometers (extendable to 80km) for up to four hours. It carries an inherent GPS Jamming protection system for operating in contested airspaces and a backup data link serves as a fall back in communication-loss emergencies. The absolute maximum flight ceiling is listed at 30,000 feet though the UAS typically operates in the 3,000 to 3,300 feet range. Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) reaches 9.5 kilograms.
Spylite is launched by way of a foldable, lightweight, low-cost rubber-band actuated launcher. The launcher can be operated in all types of weather conditions in day or night time hours. Setup time for the assembly is just fifteen minutes.
For the recovery portion of the Spylite's flight, the system is wholly autonomous and deploys a simply, low-cost parachute to retard its fall at the pre-set landing zone. The aircraft is capable of determining its fall rate based on altitude and wind speed during this process, protecting vital internal systems and the aircraft as a whole. A quick-release mechanism then allows ground operators to detach the used chute to be repacked and reused.
The Bluebird's flexibility extends beyond its capability to reconnoiter for it is cleared for use in target acquisition, disaster / humanitarian relief, mapping, aerial surveying, Search & Rescue (SAR), border security, convoy protection, and law enforcement roles. A low acoustic signature also means that the aircraft is suitable for clandestine work by special forces elements.
To date, the Spylite series has recorded over 35,000 hours of flying time.
September 2018 - After a successful showing in trials for the Army, India has committed to the Bluebird Aero Systems Spylite Small, High-Altitude UAS.
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Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.
Relative Maximum Speed Rating
This entry's maximum listed speed (75mph).
Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
Graph showcases the Bluebird Aero Spylite's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units