The VTOL capability adds another layer of operational flexibility to this advanced, long range, long endurance, tactical UAS.
Kadima, Israel, August 20th , 2018 – BlueBird Aero Systems – A leader in the design, development and production of Micro, Mini and tactical UAS, revealed a new VTOL Capability of its long-range, long-endurance tactical UAS: ThunderB (~30Kg, 4m wing-span), only 2 months after exposing an exceptional Cargo Release Capability of the ThunderB UAV at Eurosatory 2018.
The new dual-hybrid ThunderB VTOL is capable of taking off vertically from a very small ground clearing or a small marine vessel by using its quad vertical electrical motors, transition to a level flight powered by its long endurance horizontal fuel-injection engine, and transitioning back to a precise, vertical landing after completing its operational mission while requiring much smaller logistical footprint than required using standard launch and recovery system. This VTOL capability is achieved by adding a VTOL kit comprising of two booms, with four vertical electrical motors, connected under the ThunderB’s wings, similar to the way the ThunderB carries its releasable cargo capsules.
The ThunderB VTOL combines the advantages of a Fixed-Wing UAV (long endurance, high speed, Strong wind penetration, large area coverage, ability to glide in case of emergency), with the advantages of a Multi-Rotor (ability to takeoff/land in confined areas, ease of transport).
With the VTOL capabilities, and its unprecedented combination of long-range (150Km), long endurance (12 hours in VTOL configuration), advanced Full-HD real-time video image and its ability to operate in Com-Jam and GPS denied environments, the ThunderB VTOL can take the lead in tactical land and maritime operations, where takeoff/land areas are limited, like on a ship in mid-sea, on an oil rig or in a small forest clearance, for military, HLS, protecting exclusive economic zones (EEZ) and economical waters as well as civilian applications.
According to Ronen Nadir, CEO of BlueBird Aero systems, “The new VTOL capability frees the ThunderB UAS from take-off and landing space limitations, paving the way for ThunderB utilization by users who require precise point take-off and landing, together with the advanced operational capabilities already delivered by our field-proven system”. He added “We are happy again to lead the way, be in the forefront of the technology, applying solutions as a result of lessons learned from operational needs required by our operational customers. BlueBird will continue to be responsive to our customer’s needs and supply them with cutting-edge solutions to meet their challenges”.