ARCHYTAS: Construction of the Greek drone begins!

Archytas greek drone

The construction of the design molds for the unmanned aerial vehicle (drone), Archytas, has begun in the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI). By the end of February 2023, their construction will be completed, which is when the construction of the original Greek drone will begin!

After the completion of its construction, there will be test flights, checks, certifications, costing of alternative types of vehicles and taking over by EAB orders for the manufacture of aircraft from users.

In the past quarter, test flights of the scaled aircraft were successfully carried out, both in conventional and vertical take-off modes.

The Minister of Finance, Mr. Christos Staikouras, regarding the progress of the "Archytas" project, pointed out that: "About 2 years ago, an effort to establish a collaboration between the Ministry of Finance, Hellenic Aerospace Industry, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Democritus University of Thrace and the University of Thessaly.

"The aim is for the wider public sector to become a designer and producer of drone systems. During the period until today, with funding from the Ministry of Finance, the "Archytas" program has been structured.

"The program aims at the design and industrial production of an unmanned aerial vehicle (drone – UAV) system of multiple uses and types.

"The implementation of the Archytas program began on September 1, 2021.

"According to the quarterly report of the authorities, this national effort is progressing with almost absolute consistency to the planning.

"In particular, in the past three months, test flights of the scaled aircraft were successfully carried out, both in the conventional way and in the vertical take-off and landing mode, and thus its final, detailed design is nearing completion .

"At the same time:

a. Supplies of necessary materials and devices continue.

b. The construction of the special area and the industrial production line is progressing.

c. The construction of the designed molds begins. In the quarter that started (until the end of February 2023) their construction will be completed and towards the end of it the construction of the prototype vehicle will begin.

"After the completion of its construction, there will be test flights, checks, certifications, costing of alternative types of vehicles and HAI taking over orders for the manufacture of aircraft from clients.

"Thus, we consider that we can now call on Greek entrepreneurship, which produces or wishes to produce the necessary materials and devices for aircraft, with international competitiveness in terms of quality and prices, to coordinate its action with the HAI.

"Therefore, our stable political will, the consistent course of work, the reliability, effectiveness and efficiency of those involved, formed the basis for the Ministry of Finance to decide to finance the design of a second, more complex unmanned aerial vehicle. Related announcements will follow in early 2023.

"Therefore, the developments in this crucial field show that the Greeks both want and can make our homeland stronger in all aspects".

Greek experts say that Archytas is using technology employed by the US in the unique fifth-generation fighter, the F-35B, which can take off and land vertically.

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.

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 specialised missions, and “will be an ‘Eye in the Sky’, whose technological features will enable officers on the ground to get all the information they need,” said Kyros Yakinthos, professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, who is in charge of the project.

The project has been named after the Ancient Greek philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, statesman, and strategist, Archytas, who 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.

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Giorgios Andris is a columnist for News Auto.

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