New Russian Drone “Flying Bird”

  • The new drone is economical with a projected cost close to $10,000.
  • The technology is patent pending.
  • Israel is a world leader in the global drone market.

Russian professor Igor Bobarika announced a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) “Letyaga” which resembles a flying squirrel in its silhouette.  The information became available on his university website. The new drone was developed at the Irkutsk National Research Technical University (INRTU), a leading research university in Eastern Siberia that ranks among the most innovative.

INRTU graduate student and engineer Alexey Koval was involved in developing a control system. Additionally, Pavel Rumyantsev from the IRNITU Technopark was engaged in promotion and economic calculations.

IRNITU Professor Igor Bobarika.

The new drone weighs close to 20 lbs and has a wingspan of 7.8 feet and its characteristics are superior to existing analogues. Last month The ZALA AERO Drone Service launched drone food delivery in Russia. A drone with eight electric motors delivers a standard box weighing up to 1.2 kg directly to the desired point, but does not sit down, and lowers the load on a strong rope.

According to Bobarika, the “Flying Bird” can spend up to two hours in the air without landing due to an additional battery, and the payload of the new UAV is 5.5lbs, which is almost twice the load capacity of other drones. Another advantage of the creators of the UAV is its cost — at a price of 700,000 Rubles ($10,220 dollars), the “Flying Bird” is almost one and a half times cheaper than competitors.

The development is a universal UAV type V-TOL  modular thin-walled design.  V-TOL is a vertical take-off and landing aircraft. This classification can include a variety of types of aircraft including fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and other aircraft with powered rotors, such as cyclogyros/cyclocopters and tiltrotors.

The transport platform allows the placement of large amounts of equipment and target loads on board, which will increase the flight time and expand the list of tasks to be solved. The device is economical in maintenance and does not require infrastructure.

The new drone can also be used in search and rescue operations, can provide communication and broadcast mass events, and has improved maneuverability that allows you to use the “flying squirrel” in bad weather.

Currently, the Flying Bird” technology is at the patent pending stage.

Russia continues to develop drones. It is expected under the Smart Cities strategy in Russia, drones will be vital in the service industry. However, the world leader in the drone technology continues to be Israel with the  80% of UAVs produced there exported to 49 countries, including Russia. Israel controls over 41% of the global market. The Kremlin set a goal for Russia to be a top 3 performer in the field over the next 5 years.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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