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Arcturus T-20

United States (2009)
Picture of Arcturus T-20 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Picture of Arcturus T-20 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Up to 160 units of the Arcturus T-20 are planned for United States Navy procurement.


Detailing the development and operational history of the Arcturus T-20 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).  Entry last updated on 4/17/2017. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The Arcturus T-20 was initially developed as a private venture by the Arcturus-UAV LLC concern of California, USA and furthered by the US Air Force Research Laboratory. Arcturus-UAV LLC, as its name suggests, is a developer of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) featured in both commercial and military applications. Today, the firm markets three distinct models of UAVs made up of the "T-15", "T-16" and - its largest UAV design to date - the "T-20". The T-20 is classified as a medium-range, reusable reconnaissance UAV which dictates a payload of advanced sensors, cameras and other applicable surveillance, tracking and monitoring equipment. First flight of the T-20 was recorded in 2008 while the United States military evaluated the system in early 2009. To date some 10 have been delivered while a full complement of 160 is ultimately expected.

Design of the T-20 is of a conventional aircraft nature with the airframe constructed largely of composites. Its design is characterized by its slab-sided fuselage capped with a nose-mounted engine installation and a traditional "T-style" tail assembly at the rear. Avionics are housed in the aft portion of the fuselage while fuel is stored throughout the wings. The empennage is made up of a single large vertical tail rudder completed with a horizontal tail surface at its extreme top. The main wing assemblies are shoulder-mounted which allow for strong lift capabilities (especially at launch) and good ground clearance overall (with four underwing hardpoints available for parachuting "drop pods"). Each wing is straight in their design and feature clipped wingtips. The internal fuselage bay can house up to 65lbs while a modular pallet system allows awaiting ground personnel the capability to replace existing payloads within minutes, getting the T-20 back airborne in the shortest amount of time possible. An onboard camera suite allows for real-time relay of the visual feed to the applicable ground station and offers an unobstructed 360-degree field-of-view (FOV). The T-20 is also completed with integrated electro-optical, infrared and target laser systems as well as a GPS-based autopilot which can autonomously navigate preset waypoints.
The T-20 airframe enjoys a full wingspan of 17.25 feet with a running length of 9.4 feet and is powered by a single fuel-injected, 4-stroke gasoline engine of 10 horsepower fitted to the nose, this managing a two-bladed propeller. Top listed speed is 104 miles per hour with a cruise speed of 63 miles per hour. The T-20s configuration allows for a mission endurance time of over 16 hours (this with a 35lb payload - up to 500 miles at altitudes of 15,000 feet). Empty weight is listed at 80lbs while a full mission load sees the T-20 weigh in at 165lbs.

While the T-20 lacks any integrated undercarriage facilities, the aircraft is allowed airborne via the included pneumatic portable catapult. This launch system is formally designated by Arcturus as the "Portable Launching System" (PLS) and can be set up for UAV operations from land or sea-based naval vessels - literally anywhere in the world where a flat landing surface can be found for the UAVs recovery. The Arcturus T-20 can land in one of two ways - via a prepared net arrangement or along its belly on a skid. This allows the T-20 to operate just about anywhere it has the space to both launch and be recovered and does not require the prepared runaway facilities of its larger, more expensive brethren.






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.

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Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 100mph
Lo: 50mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (87mph).

    Graph average of 75 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the Arcturus T-20's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
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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
20
20


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
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National Flag Graphic
Origin: United States
Year: 2009
Type: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)
Manufacturer(s): Arcturus-UAV LLC / Air Force Research Laboratory - USA
Production: 20
Global Operators:
United States
Historical Commitments / Honors:

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.
Measurements and Weights icon
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the Arcturus T-20 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
0


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
9.51 ft


Meters
2.9 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
17.39 ft


Meters
5.3 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
3.28 ft


Meters
1 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
110 lb


Kilograms
50 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
187 lb


Kilograms
85 kg

Engine icon
Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Aviation Gasoline AvGas 110LL 4-stroke engine developing 10 horsepower and driving a two-bladed propeller at the nose.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
87 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
140 kph


Knots
76 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
497 mi


Kilometers
800 km


Nautical Miles
432 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
25,000 ft


Meters
7,620 m


Miles
4.73 mi

Armament - Hardpoints (4):

None. Modular payload of up to 65lb. 4 x underwing hardpoints for mission drop pods.
Variants: Series Model Variants
• T-20 - Base Series Designation
• T-20 Block I - Carburetor equipped
• T-20 Block II - Fuel-injection equipped
• T-20A - Provision for underwing pods
• T-20R - Research Variant