First Take-off for ARCA’s Air-Strato

First Take-off for Air Strato ARCA

On February 13, Air Strato, an unmanned electrical-powered aerial vehicle, part of ARCA projects, made its first take-off from a rough-ground runway. The vehicle engaged in a short flight reaching the altitude of 25 meters and then landed.

For this test flight, Air Strato was equipped with four electrical engines in all. Two additional ones were used to reduce the distance required for take-off on rough ground. Suspensions were also added to the landing gear.

‘The vehicle was equipped with only one tenth of the total number of batteries that the commercial aircraft version normally relies on; ballast was also used to simulate take-off payload and to balance the vehicle. We added two more electrical engines to shorten the rough ground take-off distance while the supplied suspensions ensured smooth ground ride. We only needed 30 meters for full-thrust take-off and the rate of climb was also impressive,’ said Teodor Diaconu, ARCA Flight Dynamics Engineer.

Air Strato is an unmanned electrically-propelled aerial vehicle. It can reach altitudes of up to 18 kilometers and has an autonomy of 7 hours on internal batteries and 3 days on solar panels. Its payload can vary and can exceed 30 kilograms’ worth of surveillance equipment and scientific instruments. Read more about ARCA’s activities on

Beginning with March 2012, iQuest has joined ARCA supporters for the Google Lunar X Prize space programme. The Aeronautics and Cosmonautics Romanian Association (ARCA) is a non-governmental organisation carrying out the Romanian Space Programme (2012-2025).


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