Sabrewing Aircraft Company out of Camarillo, California, has been working on their Rhaegal series of heavy-lifting cargo UAVs. They have now signed a five-year representation deal with Arabian Development & Marketing Co., including an order for 102 Sabrewing Rhaegal-B unmanned, heavy-lift, Vertical Take Off Landing (VTOL), cargo aircraft with a total order value of $600M. Part of the agreement is the establishment of assembly, maintenance, repair, and overhaul facities throuhgout the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Africa, bringing jobs to the regions. Sabrewing CEO Ed De Reyes claims it is the first commercial purchase of an unmanned aircraft.
We are very pleased to have ADMC as our middle-eastern business partner. It’s a perfect fit for Sabrewing and ADMC management in our mutual quest to pioneer unmanned VTOL cargo aircraft development/manufacturing and dominate this market sector by being the first-to-market this extraordinary aircraft. As the first commercial purchase of an unmanned aircraft this is really groundbreaking and paving the way for a whole new industry.
– Ed De Reyes, Chairman and CEO of Sabrewing
The Rhaegal-B was recently unveiled as part of the US Air Force’s Agility Prime event, which aims to bring industry, investors and government together to benefit the Urban Air Mobility market. It is a hybrid electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft where a Safran Ardiden 3 helicopter turbine is used to charge the batteries. The Rhaegal-B features a conventional fixed wing, T-tail and double rudder, combined with 4 swiveling electric ducted fans that provide thrust in both vertical and horizontal flight.
The aircraft can carry 5,400lbs (2,450kg) while flying at 200kts (370km/h) at an altitude of 22,000ft over a range of 1,000nm (1,800km). The wings can fold during hover for landing in tight spaces, and to benefit ground handling. The cargo bay can be accessed from the front and allows LD-1, LD-2, or LD-3 cargo containers to be loaded. It can be piloted remotely for commercial operations or fly fully autonomously as a military aircraft. It uses a first-of-its-kind ten-sensor Detect and Avoid (D&A) system to navigate its way around obstacles.
Operating costs are estimated to be 50-60% lower than a current manned cargo aircraft of similar capacity. Sabrewing intends an entry-into-service date of 2022, which combined with the representation deal would put them on market ahead of any similar offers.
This Agreement brings an emerging-technology, heavy-lift, unmanned cargo capability to the Middle Eastern and the Pan-African marketplace. It also brings advanced technologies in composites manufacturing, drone development and avionic sensor integration to our region. In addition to transporting critical supplies to our most remote regions, high-tech local jobs are being created. This program truly supports the vision for Saudi Arabia’s future.
– Ayman Zeibak, General Manager of ADMC