Composites-intensive Arcturus UAV completes first flight

The T-20 unmanned aerial vehicle features carbon fiber in the propeller, fuselage and spar.

ARCTURUS UAV (Rohnert Park, Calif., USA) announced on May 14 that its T-20 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) has successfully completed its first mission at the U.S. Army Dugway Proving Ground (Dugway, Utah, USA). Technicians launched the T-20 UAV with a portable catapult and completed the first of several missions with a routine landing on a remote desert road as planned. The T-20 is a Tier II Class UAV designed to carry a wide range of payloads with high persistence and reliability.   
 
Manufactured in the U.S., the T-20 is the largest UAV developed by Arcturus with a 17-ft 3-inch (5.3m) wingspan. The all-composite craft features carbon fiber in the propeller, spar and fuselage; wings are made with glass fiber. The catapult picton is also manufactured of carbon fiber composites.

An onboard GPS autopilot with waypoint navigation accepts multiple flight plans from a Ground Control Station, allowing the T-20 to fly missions up to 16 hours and return to a specified location autonomously. 

A high wing design allows full visibility under the fuselage for pod cameras, targeting lasers, and other sensors.  The “Payload Pallet” is a modular tray that allows sensors to be mounted on interchangeable pallets that can be quickly changed in the field.  The T-20 prototype was completed in 2008 and flight tested at Edwards Air
Force Base. Full production is now underway at the ARCTURUS UAV.