A prototype of Greece’s first vertical take-off and landing drone, called “Archytas,” was unveiled by the nation’s authorities during a military exercise in the eastern Aegean in late September.
The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), called “Archytas,” was presented to deputy minister of national defense, Nikolaos Chardalias, during the final phase of the ‘Parmenion-21′ joint military exercise, held on the island of Chios between 24 September and 1 October.
A photograph published by the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence on 30 September showed Chardalias inspecting the UAV, which is the product of co-operation between Greek companies EFA Group and Ucandrone PC with the research teams of the Hellenic Navy, Hellenic Aviation Industry, and the Universities of Thessaloniki, Thessaly, and Thrace.
Archytas drone using F-35B technology
Greek experts say that Archytas is 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 in September.
He explained that one of the main goals of the project is for the drone to be produced by the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAB).
According to Jane’s Defense, the UAV uses one engine driving a pusher propeller for horizontal flight. The VTOL capability is provided by four electrically powered propellers located on the longitudinal beams connecting the wings with the negative-V tail. The Archytas features landing gear in the form of four struts designed to maximize flight endurance by producing minimal drag.
Drone with multiple roles
The UAV, 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 project has been named after the Ancient Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and strategist. Archytas 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.
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.