The Pipistrel Nuuva V300 is a new, all-modern hybrid-electric-driven Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) unmanned cargo delivery vehicle. The aircraft features the capability to cover long-ranges while carrying oversized, paletted loads in a fully-enclosed cargo hold. The air vehicle originates from the nation of Slovenia and is aimed at several industries looking to succeed expensive helicopter solutions with a low-cost, easy-to-operate and maintain alternative.
Part of the V300's success is its hybrid-electric powerplant which relies heavily on batteries to reduce overall fuel burn during flight. Compared to full-sized conventional helicopters, the product therefore has a distinct edge economically and a simple charging station brings the battery supply back to life. VTOL flight is made possible by 8 x Pipistrel IE-811 motors positioned about the booms under the aircraft while forward flight is by way of a single FADEC IC high-efficiency engine fitting driving a three-bladed propeller unit in "pusher" configuration.
All told, the V300 is one of those rare vehicles capable of helicopter-like agility with the propulsion qualities of a fixed-wing aircraft.
Its design features a rather unique tandem-wing biplane arrangement in which the lower wing member is seated well-forward on the fuselage and mounted low while the upper, dimensionally-larger, wing member is positioned over the fuselage near the extreme end of the vehicle. Ground-running is by way of a simple four-strut landing gear arrangement - another feature that keeps production and operating costs, as well as the maintenance commitment, in check.
The air vehicle has been designed to be fully-autonomous, by way of a preloading flight plan, allowing for a complete hands-off experience. Its helicopter-like qualities, along with its in-built Fly-by-Wire (FbW) control scheme, ensure it access to areas generally restrictive to traditional, conventional fixed-wing aircraft - allowing the V300 to operate from nearly any open-air launch/retrieval area. Reliability is through a triple-redundant Flight Control System (FCS) coupled with an onboard self-monitoring system to help prevent against issues that may arise during operation.
The system can haul cargo loads up to 1,000lb within its enclosed hold - including full pallets of goods. Access to this section of the aircraft is through an oversized, hinged front door for loading/unloading. The V300 is rated with a Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) of 3,750lb.
Dimensions of the V300 include a running length of 33 feet with a wingspan of 43.4 feet and a height of 10 feet. Performance specs include a cruising speed maximum of 137 miles-per-hour with a climb rate near 600 feet-per-minute with a maximum cruising altitude just under 20,000 feet. Due to its hybrid-electric powerplant arrangement, the air vehicle can sustain operations up to twelve hours with a typical mission range covering 300 kilometers - though it is capable of flying out to a maximum range of 2,500 kilometers if needed.
Beyond its obvious military value (in the resupply role), the V300 has nearly unmatched versatility for an air vehicle of this size and class - it can serve the Oil-and-Gas industry with equal effectiveness in reaching offshore oil platforms and can also assist in humanitarian-minded operations. Alternatively, it can also be launched from the sea during ship-to-shore operations, resupplying inland parties as needed.