The RAVN X: The World’s Largest Drone

For years NASA has dominated delivering cargo and satellites to space, and now SpaceX seems to be doing the same almost every week. Sending cargo to space or delivering a satellite isn’t exactly cutting-edge tech these days. Liftoff usually starts with a ground-based rocket, which is expensive and time-consuming to launch. Aevum, a company launched in 2016, has built the world’s biggest drone, capable of doing the same job better and for less money.

Photo credits: SpaceNews

They call it, the Ravn X. A drone so big that it can easily rival a commercial airliner. Aevum believes that with the Ravn X, they will be capable of sending low-Earth orbit satellites into space and it will cost less than it takes companies like Elon Musk’s SpaceX to do so. The Ravn X stands at 80 feet long and 18 feet tall while having a wingspan of 60 feet. It is also said to be driven by Aevum’s proprietary software. The company’s CEO, Jay Skylus, says that the drone would fly itself to a specified altitude, where it would launch a rocket that would be carrying payloads of small satellites. Aevum officials also spoke about the launch system being 70 percent reusable and hope to get that close to 100 percent. The company claims that the Ravn X will deliver satellites to space as fast as every 180 minutes, 24/7, with no risk to human life. After making its delivery to low-Earth orbit, the UAS returns to Earth, autonomously landing safely on a runway and parking itself in the hangar.

Photo credits: XYHT

The Ravn X is part of Aevum’s autonomous aerial launch system, which would involve a fully autonomous, self-flying, self-operating, and self-managing intelligent system which will eradicate the risk of human error and human life. While the U.S. Space Force is counting on companies, such as SpaceX, to provide more responsive launch services, Aevum believes that the Ravn X reusable autonomous launch vehicle (AuLV) will provide more flexibility to military commanders.

Aevum can expect to get bullied by SpaceX and NASA, but they will never back down. After all, the future will be all about ‘less is more’. Aevum intends to start delivering satellites and cargo to space as soon as this year after having secured more than $1 billion in launch contracts which includes a contract with the US Space Force. So, if someone would have told you that drones will be as big as rockets in the coming years, would you have believed it?


Sources

Cover photo: https://yellowhammernews.com/huntsville-company-unveils-drone-that-can-launch-small-satellites-into-low-orbit-mid-flight/ https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/the-worlds-biggest-drone-ravn-x-will-send-satellites-into-space-on-a-rocket-7167688/ https://www.cnet.com/news/worlds-biggest-drone-will-send-satellites-into-space-on-a-rocket/?fbclid=IwAR1nex9omN_nkIfD2IqryQapZyD7NymMpupWuW5iJItxQ4UoWXQSoJ7biXk