21.5.2020

VTOL variant for Russia's ZALA 421-16EV

ZALA AERO has developed a new multipurpose VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle ZALA 421-16EV – link

Source: SUAS News

Article Headlines

  • The UAV can be operated in the air for 2 hours, while having a cruising speed of up to 110 km\h, with an advantage of the absence of a catapult launcher and the need for a clear landing area

Overview & Comments

  • The system very much resembles Aeronautics’ Orbiter 2 mini UAS with a VTOL add-on kit
  • Pending on the specific flight requirements, hybrid systems can be an excellent solution as more legacy fixed wing systems are being fitted with optional VTOL kits
  • Hybrid fixed wing / VTOL systems bring the various advantages from both categories – the ability to perform a point takeoff & landing without assisting equipment on one hand while aspiring to perform with fixed wing characteristics
  • Of-course there is a certain tradeoff due to the hybrid configuration – They cannot hover for the same extent of time as single or multi-rotor systems can as the VTOL capability is mostly for takeoff & landing. Due to the added VTOL kit flight characteristics, mainly endurance & payload capacity, are reduced when compared to their fixed wing versions
  • But the bottom line is that fixed wing, rotary and hybrid fixed wing / VTOL systems all obtain their various advantages with regards to different operational requirements, thus the key is to match the best configuration to the mission at hand
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