The Skyeton "Raybird-3" is an all-modern, multi-faceted Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) solution designed and developed in Ukraine. The aircraft is conventional in most respects, offering the automatic, versatility, and reliability common to other UASs of this class. The air vehicle is actively marketed today and can provide flexibility across many operating environments and industries.
The Raybird-3 has been given a traditional twin boom arrangement which sees a centralized fuselage housing all pertinent operating- and mission-related systems. The fuselage is well-streamlined and compact with the twin-bladed propeller unit seated at the nose (as opposed to the more common placement at the rear of the fuselage). A trainable optics fit is positioned at the belly, offering unfettered views of the surrounding terrain below and around the aircraft. The mainplanes are mid-mounted on the fuselage sides and have down-turned tips. The twin boom arrangement sees the booms emanating from the trailing edges of the mainplanes and joined at the rear by a shared horizontal plane. The vertical fins are inverted at the rear of the design, giving this UAV a wholly unique look in the field.
Dimensions of the air vehicle including a running length of 1.8 meters with a wingspan measuring 2.98 meters and a height of just 0.32 meters. Compactness for such a system is key. Operating weights include an empty rating of 11 kilograms and an MTOW of 21 kilograms.
Power for the unit is from a conventional fuel-injected system which allows for a mission-endurance window of around 24 to 32 hours. Operating speeds reach a maximum of 160 kmh.
The aircraft does not required manual input by the ground operator for certain in-air tasks with an automatic processing function being in-built. In this fashion, the vehicle can fly to pre-programmed waypoints in the sky, manage its own payload systems, and make its way back to the operator on its own. The air vehicle can operate to ceilings of 10,000 feet, keeping it out of harm's way (and out of hearing range) from targets/threats on the ground. Direct control of the vehicle is possible up to 240 kilometers (2,500 km in automatic mode).
Tactical flexibility is at the heart of similar systems and the Raybird-3 does not disappoint: its payload is capable of carrying up to 5 kilograms consisting of sensors and camera systems. The onboard video-streaming technology can project out to a range of 120 kilometers. Operation is allowed under various environments and weather conditions.
Reliability is aided through a redundant internal mechanical design which promotes unit reuse as well as operator safety. The digitally-based data-linking process is fully-encrypted to protect against "prying eyes" attempting to intercept its in-air signal.
The complete Raybird-3 system consists of three airframes, a single Ground Control Station (GAS), antenna, and a collapsing catapult launcher. The components are transported in four hard-walled containers and can be arranged for the mission in under 20 minutes - the action being completely tool-less process to boot, involving assembly of the mainplanes to the fuselage, tail booms to the mainplanes, and elevator to the tail booms.
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September 2019 - The Raybird 3 platform has captured the Ukrainian Small UAV record for distance, saying aloft for 24.5 hours.
April 2020 - The Raybird 3 has successfully taken part in active testing of the 90K6E 3D surface-search radar system.
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