The COLUMBA is a flying-wing drone designed, developed, and produced by Spaitech of Spain. It is a camera-equipped solution built around versatility and reliability, proving suitable for the Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR) role and can easily be adopted to cover civilian, humanitarian, and industry requirements as needed. The drone is launched from a catapult assembly and recovered by a parachute-retarded descent back on the ground. Control is by ground-based operator.
The COLUMBA uses a blended "wing-body" design common to "tailless" flying wing aircraft to achieve maximum lift with added drag, enhancing loitering times and increasing internal storage volume for pertinent systems and an optics-based payload. The mainplanes are elegantly-shaped and completed with down-turned tips for additional control and stability in flight. The nose section contains the twin-bladed propeller unit arranged in "puller" fashion while the gyro-stabilized optics "blister" is embedded near center-mass of the aircraft along its ventral line.
The all-electric drive makes this Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) solution eco-friendly while also reducing acoustic levels when compared to combustion-driven types of same class.
The UAS can stay aloft for 120 minutes and fly out to a distance of 120 kilometers while transmitting online at 40 kilometers out. It reaches altitudes of up to 3,000 meters while cruising at speeds of 100 kmh. Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) if 7 kilograms. Its wingspan measures 2 meters across.
The COLUMBA is one of several UASs currently (2022) marketed by Spaitech and includes the flagship SPARROW as well as the WINDHOVER, SPARROW LE, ANSER, and ARDEA.
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
✓Close-Air Support (CAS)
Developed to operate in close proximity to active ground elements by way of a broad array of air-to-ground ordnance and munitions options.
✓Special-Mission: Search & Rescue (SAR)
Ability to locate and extract personnel from areas of potential harm or peril (i.e. downed airmen in the sea).
✓Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.
Aircraft inherently designed (or later developed) with an unmanned capability to cover a variety of over-battlefield roles.
Design utilizes an all-electric powerplant for drive power.
Inherent ability of airframe to take considerable damage.
Can accelerate to higher speeds than average aircraft of its time.
Can reach and operate at higher altitudes than average aircraft of its time.
Ability to operate over ocean in addition to surviving the special rigors of the maritime environment.
Design features ability to fly sans pilot, actions controlled onboard through programming and / or ground-based operator.
Design features autonomous flight operations made possible through onboard artificial intelligence or pre-programming.
Payload supports photographic equipment providing still and / or real-time image / video results.
6.6 ft (2.00 m)
15 lb (7 kg)
15 lb (7 kg)
+0 lb (+0 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base Spaitech COLUMBA production variant)
monoplane / low-mounted / delta, tailless
Design utilizes a single primary wing mainplane; this represent the most popular mainplane arrangement.
Mainplanes are low-mounted along the sides of the fuselage.
The delta planform lacks a conventional tailplane arrangement with all wing surface area taken up by the delta planform.
(Structural descriptors pertain to the base Spaitech COLUMBA production variant)
1 x Electric motor driving two-bladed propeller unit at the nose.
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