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The Russian design bureau VR-Technologies, part of Russian Helicopters, will build the country’s first ever electric-powered heavy-lift convertiplane prototype by 2019.

According to defenseworld.net’s report, the first prototype is based on unmanned convertiplane VRT30 and has a lift-off mass of 1,500 kilograms. The aircraft’s main advantage is that it needs no runway. Also, the rotors’ tilt mechanism allows convertiplanes to develop high speed in horizontal flight and perform a variety of operations in hover mode.

“In cooperation with our partners in the Super-Ox company, we have been working on a new convertiplane-based laboratory boasting such a feature as a high-temperature superconductivity cable network, which will considerably improve the prototype’s mass, size and flight parameters,” Helicopters of Russia CEO Andrey Boginsky said.

The developers have yet to give technical specifications of the drone but said it’s implemented as part of the Speed programme adopted by Russian Helicopters. The main objective during the development of the unmanned aircraft was to create a flying test bed to determine the efficiency of design layouts and search for innovative solutions.

In July, it was reported in airrecognition.com that the VRT30 was undergoing flight tests and will serve as a basis for a convertiplane with a takeoff weight of up to two tons. “The technology will reduce the weight of the propulsion unit, power generating system units and power supply systems. Thus, the weight of payload will grow, which will make the aircraft commercially attractive to a wide range of customers,” Boginsky added.