The Almighty Rhaegal by Sabrewing Aircraft
Vertical takeoffs and landings are possible, as well as conventional fixed-wing takeoffs and landings (or CTOLs, for conventional takeoffs and landings).
In addition to the Rhaegal-A prototype, the company has also built a Rhaegal-B model that is about twice as large as the initial RG-1 model. Moreover, it plans to develop an even larger Wyvern model, almost twice the size of the -B. For the -A and -B, the aircraft will offer twice the payload when taking off and landing from a runway than when in VTOL mode (so up to 5,000 pounds and 10,000 pounds, respectively).
A single Rolls-Royce M250 turbine engine powered the original Rhaegal RG-1 prototype, driving a generator that powered four motor/fan drives, one at each corner, and batteries. The company says it decided to seek a new engine after realizing Rolls-Royce would not be able to supply sufficient numbers of the M250. Using three of Safran's Ardiden turboshaft engines, which were developed for helicopters, it launched a request for information in January 2020.
Cargo bays can be accessed through the nose and have a convertible roller floor that can accommodate pallets or bulk cargo. Ground operations, transportation, and storage can be eased by automatically collapsible wings. Flight control and detect-and-avoid will be assisted by cameras, lidars, radars, and forward-looking infrared detectors (for night landings).
Located north of Los Angeles, Rhaegal's Camarillo facility is building the aircraft. In Alaska, the Aleut community of St. Paul Island has agreed that Sabrewing can use its island for flight testing, with hopes of using the aircraft for vital supplies in the future.
The Rhaegal-A prototype was previously flown by Sabrewing in one-eighth scale. Approximately 1,115 miles of range is expected for both types.
Sabrewing announced on April 21, 2020 that it had been awarded a contract under the eVTOL program of the Air Force. The company has been awarded a $3.25 million AFWERX Small Business Innovative Research Phase II contract to support testing of a prototype called Rhaegal-A. This feature was launched live online as part of the Agility Prime kickoff event on May 1, 2020. Additionally, the company intends to develop a military version, known as the Aleut, whose engine has yet to be selected. Almost twice the size of the Wyvern-B model, a larger aircraft will also be built by Sabrewing. In order for Wyvern to be designed, the appropriate regulations for certification need to be issued by the regulatory authorities.
Quarantines and other restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic delayed planned flight testing, so no start date had been set as of July 2020. As long as the Covid restrictions in California are lifted, the company plans to start building the first full prototypes of the Rhaegal aircraft in September 2020. It appeared likely that the first full production aircraft would also be delayed, as construction had been scheduled to be completed by January 2021.
The European Aviation Safety Agency is expected to complete Part 23 type certification of Sabrewing's civil applications in 2022, followed by the FAA later that year.