Research, Technology

VRT-300 is the first Russian helicopter-type drone

Unmanned aerial vehicles are most oftenperform in the form of multicopters or with fixed wings, that is, aircraft type. But they also come in helicopter type. Usually they are powerful UAVs capable of transporting loads weighing tens of kilograms. Russia has its own helicopter-type drone, called the VRT-300. Unlike other drones that we talked about earlier, it is focused primarily on civilian applications. However, it may well be used for the needs of the army, and there are quite a few tasks that it can solve. Let's take a closer look at this device.

Russian helicopter-type drone VRT-300

Advantages of helicopter-type drones

UAV "VRT-300" refers to the typesingle-rotor drones, which visually and in design are not much different from conventional helicopters, with the only difference being that they do not have a cockpit for people. It would seem, why do we need helicopter-type drones when there are multicopters? In fact, they have one big plus - they have a longer flight time, because thanks to one lead and one tail rotor, they are more efficient and stable.

Multicopters are less stable and efficient than helicopter-style drones

Earlier we said that multicopters are far awaynot the most stable aircraft. Flight stabilization is achieved with them by adjusting the speed of rotation of the propellers, for which the electronics are responsible. Helicopter-type UAVs do not have this disadvantage. In addition, they can be equipped with powerful internal combustion engines.

Why, in this case, helicopter-type dronesnot widely adopted? The fact is that they have a more complex design, as a result of which their cost is much higher than multicopters. In addition, they require higher operating costs.

It is more difficult to control such drones, thereforespecial training of personnel is required. In addition, helicopter drones are more dangerous because they have long blades. There have already been cases of fatal injuries caused by helicopter drones to people. This somewhat limits their scope.

UAV "VRT-300" can transport cargo weighing up to 70 kg

Characteristics of the drone “VRT-300”

Development and creation of the VRT-300 drone fromthe Russian Helicopters holding was engaged from the beginning to the end. Unlike military attack drones such as Orion or Okhotnik, it was not created by order of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Therefore, it is focused primarily on peaceful use.

For the first time the aircraft was presented in2017 at the MAKS-2017 exhibition. However, the first flight tests took place only in 2019. Serial production was launched even later - in 2021. Despite the high-tech device, it turned out to be relatively inexpensive, which is an important advantage over foreign analogues.

What is a device?The car turned out to be quite compact, while its maximum take-off load reaches 380 kg. Thanks to this, "ВРТ-300" can transport loads weighing up to 70 kg. The maximum speed of the UAV is 180 km / h thanks to a powerful diesel engine. The maximum flight duration is 5 hours. The flight radius reaches 150 km, and the radio communication range is 100 km.

UAV "VRT-300" delivers parcels in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug

Possibilities of UAV “VRT-300”

UAV "VRT-300", in fact, representsis a multifunctional air vehicle capable of performing a wide range of tasks. For example, it can be used for aerial photography, integrated reconnaissance, territory patrolling or monitoring, scientific research, cargo delivery, etc.

At the MAKS-2019 exhibition, the developer stated that the UAVVRT 300 is initially planned to be created in two versions. The first is designed for ice exploration and operation in the Arctic. It will be equipped with a side-looking radar. The second version is designed for remote sensing and monitoring tasks.

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The developer himself claims that the drone haspotential use in the field of cargo transportation, search and rescue and agricultural work. At the MAKS-2021 air show, an agreement was signed with the Russian Post, according to which drones are supplied for the delivery of goods in the Chukotka Autonomous Region.

As for the military use of this UAV,there is no information on this yet. For reconnaissance purposes, the VRT-300 is not the best solution, as it has a rather loud engine. However, it is quite possible that over time it will find application in the army.