Greece is developing a drone by using technology employed by the U.S. in the unique fifth generation fighter, the F-35B, which can take off and land vertically.
The Greek-designed unmanned aerial vehicle, a fixed wing craft, will be ready in two and a half years from today in order “to respond to any challenge,” said Kyros Yakinthos, professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, who is in charge of the project.
“We want to build a drone which will be able to achieve vertical take-off and landing with systems that have not yet been used before for drones,” he told AMNA radio station on Friday.
He explained that one of the main goals of the project is for the drone to be produced by the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAB).
The project has been named “Archytas”, after an Ancient Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and strategist. He was a scientist of the Pythagorean school and famous for being the reputed founder of mathematical mechanics, as well as a good friend of Plato.
Yakinthos acknowledged that the construction presents “a very big technological challenge”, but as he pointed out Greece has the technological know-how and the skills to make this happen.
He said that a team of 30 to 35 scientists, including engineers, designers and electronics experts, will work together, aiming to produce the drone as “cost-effectively, as possible.”
The Greek scientist added that the timeline set by the Greek government and EAB is for the drone to be tested and ready for production in two-and-a-half years from now. “Until then, it must have flown, passed all the procedures on flight testing, and get the certificate of airworthiness”, Yakinthos said.
Drone will be “eye in the sky” over Greece
The drone, which will have multiple roles,could be used by the Armed Forces as well as Civil Protection agencies.
It would be used for surveillance, security and more specialized missions. “It will be an ‘Eye in the Sky’, whose technological features will enable officers on the ground to get all the information they need,” Yakinthos said.
The Greek scientist emphasized that the “Archytas” program is a collaboration of different Greek universities and agencies.
Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, will design the drone, while EAV will undertake to build it. The Democritus University of Thrace together with the University of Thessaly will develop the power distribution systems for the engine and batteries, as well as the devices for the communications.
Greek scientists have already been testing other types of drones, such as the DELAER RX-3 tactical unmanned aerial vehicle, currently being tested by the University of Thessaly
Development of another drone, the RX-4, which presented at the 84th Thessaloniki International Fair in 2019, is also progressing.