MPU RX-4: The new Greek VTOL mini-UAS

Another modern aerial vehicle, the third in a series over six years, was designed and developed by the Fluid & Turbine Engineering Laboratory (EMRS) of the Thessaloniki University’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, in collaboration with other Greek Universities and private companies.

This is the mini UAS Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) MPU RX-4 designed to be able to operate from anywhere without having to use a catapult or launcher. because thanks to its configuration it can take off and land vertically.

The drone was designed and developed as reported by the Fluid & Turbine Engineering Laboratory of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in collaboration with the UAV-iRC Aerospace Team of Thessaloniki University’s KEDEK, the University of Thrace (robotic vision), MLS (ground station), and GEOSENSE (specification determination and flight testing).

According to person responsible for research and development of the program and director of the Laboratory of Fluid & Turbine Engineering professor Cyrus Yacinthos, the aircraft has “blended-wing-body, fixed wing geometry, providing greater landing and vertical take-off. which is the novelty of the project.

The MPU RX-4 has a maximum take-off weight of 4 kg, a length of 1 meter, a wingspan of 1.8 meters and a height of 200 mm. The MPU RX-4 has 2 hours of standby time, can go up to 125 km / h and land perpendicularly as mentioned, although it is a fixed wing aircraft and not a polycopter.

This is accomplished by the use of an electric fan located in the center of the aircraft fuselage and two motors with propellers located on the two front arms of the aircraft which can rotate 90 degrees.

Essentially during take-off the two front motors are turned upwards and in combination with the central fan lift the vehicle. The two motors then rotate forward and allow the aircraft to be navigated to the destination desired by the operator.

The aircraft is for multiple missions such as surveillance, mapping, and civil protection operations and will be equipped with a complex of day / night sensors, etc. The first pilot flights of the prototype are expected to begin immediately.