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News Archive, 2013 - 2014


November 25, 2014 - AirStrato, Now Available for Preorders


There is a new age for flight. The age of unmanned autonomous flying vehicles. But this new revolution is not for everyone. Few businesses, military and research institutions can afford to purchase a high performance UAV like the Predator for example. Even fewer can get access to a stratospheric flying Global Hawk. The rest have to contend with low performance unmanned aircrafts.

We merged the performance of the former with the affordability of the latter. And here, the revolutionary AirStrato comes into the market. It is an aircraft with the flight ceiling of the Global Hawk, the endurance and the size of the Predator and the payload of the Shadow, at the cost of an expensive car. This will allow small businesses, research institutions and even individuals to benefit from an affordable, high performance aerial robot.

AirStrato is amazing because is electrical powered and is able to fly almost twice as high as a commercial airliner; it can be controlled from any part of the world via satellite or GSM; it can takeoff and land from any remote location; it is very beautiful and affordable. When ARCA decided to create this aircraft we had only one goal in mind: to create a tool that will expand the human capabilities to explore and discover.

The price range for the AirStrato products is between $80,000 and $140,000. Small-scale drones able to carry a small payload currently cover this market segment, possessing limited autonomy, range, speed and flight ceiling.

AirStrato product line is well above these limitations and has performance similar to UAV's on the market in the price ranges between $500,000 and $4 million. Although payload capacity is lower compared to these UAV, the flight performance such as flight ceiling and global operation capability is a great plus. 



November 10, 2014 - AirStrato, the Most Amazing Air Robot in the World


ARCA SPACE CORPORATION is bringing about a new era for robotic flight with the introduction of AirStrato, an electrical powered aircraft designed to carry a 100lbs (45kg) payload and to fly at altitudes up to 60.000ft (18.000m).

This product will fill a huge gap between expensive, large military unmanned aerial vehicles and less expensive, small-scale civilian commercial drones by combining the performance of the former with the price of the latter. This will allow small-scale businesses, research institutions and even individuals to benefit from an affordable, high performance aerial robot.

AirStrato is amazing because it has global navigation capabilities and can reach any place on Earth; it can fly at altitudes nearly twice as high as commercial airliners; it is electrical powered and environmentally friendly; it can takeoff and land from any location, no matter how remote; it is easy to fly; it is very beautiful and most of all is affordable. When ARCA decided to create this aircraft we had only one goal in mind: to create a tool that will expand the human capabilities to explore and discover.

The complete details and prices will be revealed on November 25th, 2014.


October 17, 2014 - ARCA Space Corporation Was Established in the US


ARCA has relocated its center of operations in Las Cruces, New Mexico. ARCA has become a US company, under the name ARCA SPACE CORPORATION, but its operations in EU will continue for activities mostly related to software and rocket engines development. In November, ARCA will start the commercial operations involving the manufacturing and selling of Air Strato air robot series.
Air Strato unmanned aircraft family is intended to meet the highest expectations from clients worldwide. The top product is a stratospheric aircraft designed to fly for long period of time at altitudes up to 60,000 ft (18,000 m). The vehicle has global navigation capabilities and is electrical powered, using solar panels for daylight flight and internal batteries for night operation. More on


February 28, 2014 - AirStrato-0001 Prototype First Take-off and Landing


Air Strato, the electrical powered unmanned aerial vehicle performed the first take-off from rough ground. The aircraft performed a short flight at 25 m altitude and then landed.

Air Strato was powered by four electrical engines. Two supplementary engines were added in order to shorten the take-off distance. Other additions ware suspensions installed on main and forward landing gear. The right landing gear suspension was damaged at touch down.

"The aircraft had only 10 percent of the batteries intended for the commercial version so we had to add ballast to simulate take-off weight. We also added two more electrical motors to increase thrust, needed on the rough ground to decrease take-off distance that, combined with the landing gear suspension, provided for a smooth taxi and take-off on rough terrain. It took less than 30 m to lift into the air at maximum thrust. Also we were impressed by the aircraft's rate of climb." - Teodor Diaconu, ARCA flight dynamics engineer.

Air Strato is a high altitude electrical powered unmanned aerial vehicle. It can reach altitudes of above 18 km and has an autonomy of 7 hours on internal batteries and up to 3 days using solar panels. It can carry a variable payload up to 30 kg consisting of surveillance equipment or other scientific instruments.


February 10, 2014 - ARCA is Developing a High Performance Air-robot


The aircraft is named Air Strato and is part of a larger UAV family that will carry out various missions for ARCA and our partners. The first prototype is completed and is already in testing. This is the largest version, having a wingspan of 16m (52 ft) and is intended for stratospheric flights up to an altitude of 60,000 ft (18,000 m). The aircraft is electrically powered and has autonomy of 7 hours on internal batteries and 3 days using solar panels. It can carry a payload of 30 kg consisting of aerial photography and surveillance equipment, scientific instruments or other payloads for various tasks including additional battery pods for extended autonomy. The other versions of Air Strato have a smaller wingspan and lower flight ceiling but higher maximum speed and larger payloads.

"Our activity requires that we perform stratospheric missions for our partners and clients, and the solar and helium balloons we used until now, although capable of lifting heavier payloads to higher altitudes, are more expensive and time consuming in construction, are dependent on calm weather conditions and require aerial safety zones to be established. Air Strato can fill their roles much cheaper and more reliable for an extended period of time and perform additional tasks for clients such as surveillance over a fixed area, telemetry testing and scientific experiments for extended period of time or other missions. It will make our entire aerospace activity much easier and less expensive." Dumitru Popescu, ARCA CEO.

If tests are successful ARCA is considering developing commercial versions of Air Strato and other UAV in the family.


26 November 2013 - The Executor 2 Rocket Engine Fit-check on the Test Stand


ARCA performed a fit-check of the Executor 2 rocket engine, for the Haas 2B rocket, on the test facility. ARCA took the decision to develop the Executor 2 rocket engine as a fast and cost effective solution for the Haas 2B suborbital rocket. The Executor 2 rocket engine is fueled with LOX and kerosene T1 and it has a sea level thrust of 50,660 lb (23,000 kgf). It has a length of 7.2 ft (2.2 m) and a diameter of 3.23 ft (0.98 m). The engine's total weight is 550 lb (250 kg).


November 4, 2013 - The Executor Rocket Engine Test Facility Is Under Construction


The Executor engine test facility is under construction. The Executor rocket engine is used by ARCA for the Haas rocket series and IAR-111 Excelsior rocket-plane. ARCA team cast 140 tons of reinforced concrete. Liquid fuel rocket engines of up to 80 tons of thrust could be tested on this facility. In the next weeks, the facility will be equipped with rocket engine feed lines and tanks and a water cooling system. The rocket engines command, control and working parameters measurement will be also added.



September 26, 2013 - First ARCA Flight for the ExoMars Program Successfully Completed


ARCA has successfully completed the avionics qualification test flight for the ExoMars High Altitude Drop Test (HADT).
The objectives were flight testing the avionics and communication systems, demonstrating the containers sealing after sea landing and the capability to identify and recover the equipment from the sea surface.
The launch took place on September 16, 2013, from the Black Sea coast and comprised three pressurized containers containing the avionics equipment that will be necessary to test the ExoMars spacecraft parachute during the incoming future flights. The pressurized containers, carried by the cluster balloon, were launched at 7:15 AM and the ascension took 90 minutes to an altitude of 24,470 km. At this altitude the containers were released under a dedicated recovery parachute and landed on the sea, twenty minutes later. The containers and the recovery parachute were recovered by the Navy, at a distance of 92 km from the launch point.



September 2, 2013 - ARCA at the DC-X 20th Anniversary


ARCA was invited by NASA DC-X team to the 20th anniversary of the Delta Clipper Experimental first flight. ARCA presented the programs under development as the Haas 2C, 2B, IAR-111 and ExoMars.


May 19, 2013 - ARCA is Developing a New Flight Command and Control Center


ARCA is developing a new Flight Command and Control Center. The new center has three new telemetry stations (radio and satellite) and two new command stations, passive radar, alongside two meteorological stations, CCTV system and other capabilities.



April 15, 2013 - ARCA Completes the First Phase of ExoMars High Altitude Drop Test Program


The European Space Agency has visited ARCA for two days in order to check the progress of ARCA regarding the preparations for the ExoMars High Altitude Drop Test Program. ARCA successfully completed the first phase of the program, the Design Review, and is now near to complete the first Drop Test Vehicle (DTV) for the first flight test, alongside the ground support equipment. This flight test, that will take place over the Black Sea, with the support of the Navy, will be a rehearsal for the two main flights that will take place in the autumn of 2013.


April 3, 2013 - Start of the Google Lunar X Prize 2013 Summit in Santiago, Chile


ARCA participated at the Google Lunar X Prize Summit held in Chile. The teams presented their technical and media efforts in the Google Lunar X Prize Competition. The competition regulation was also discussed.


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