Successful pilot demonstrates potential new option for delivering medicines and vaccines in hard-to-reach locations and during emergencies.

A consortium led by humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief today announced the successful completion of a program testing the potential to deliver temperature-controlled medicines and vaccines by using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, also known as drones). It is the fourth in a series of proof-of-concept missions the group as undertaken to demonstrate the potential of using UAVs to safely deliver temperature-dependent medicines and vaccines to hard-to-reach locations. Direct Relief, Merck (known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada), Softbox, AT&T and Volans-i are working together on the project.

Continue reading “Successful pilot demonstrates potential new option for delivering medicines and vaccines in hard-to-reach locations and during emergencies.”

SF Express wins first drone operator licence in China

SF Express

Ambitious Chinese express operator SF Express has pipped Alibaba and JD in the race to gain China’s first domestic drone operator licence – and it is set to collaborate with African drone specialist Astral in Kenya.

Announcing the news, China’s largest courier hailed the civil aviation authority (CAAC) decision to grant subsidiary Jiangxi Fengyu Shuntu a licence, calling it a “milestone”.

SF Express said: “This means that China’s drone logistics distribution is entering the legal operation phase. It is a milestone in the development of China’s logistics drones and it is also a recognition of SF’s logistics distribution and operation capabilities.”

Company shares reportedly jumped 5%, with the State Post Bureau forecasting an extra 9bn parcels will be delivered in China this year. Continue reading “SF Express wins first drone operator licence in China”

Largest drone ever flown in Ireland carries first European test flight in Co Clare (video)

drone

The company that designed the CGT45 SLT unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) wants to establish Clare as a European test centre for its drones.

A-techSYN, which designs and builds unmanned aerial systems (UAS), launched its UAV business in the Shannon Free Zone near Shannon Airport in 2017. The company forms part of the Shannon Avionics Cluster.

Yesterdays demonstration was held at Spanish Point airfield in front of Clare Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection Mr Pat Breen; representatives from the Turkish Embassy in Dublin; Shannon Group as well as members of the Irish Coast Guard, Civil Defence and other interested groups.

A-techSYN’s CGT45 SLT is one of the first UAV’s to use electric engines for take-off and landing and a combustion engine during fixed wing flight. The event was the first demonstration flight in Europe for the CGT45-SLT. Continue reading “Largest drone ever flown in Ireland carries first European test flight in Co Clare (video)”

Boeing unveils new cargo air vehicle prototype (Video)

cargo air vehicle

A working prototype cargo drone unveiled today by Boeing marks the entry of the world’s largest aircraft manufacturer into the unmanned electric air cargo air vehicle space. While analysts have predicted for some time now that drones are on course to transform the logistics sector, Boeing’s additional aerospace muscle represents a seismic shakeup of the industry, with the Chicago-based company now plowing its extensive technology and resources into developing this still incipient technology.

The drone is powered by an electric propulsion system and outfitted with eight counter-rotating propellers, allowing for vertical and horizontal flight. It measures 4.6 meters long, 5.5 meters wide and 1.2 meters tall, and weighs 339 kilograms. Continue reading “Boeing unveils new cargo air vehicle prototype (Video)”

Large unmanned aircraft systems will begin populating the skies in not-too-distant future

unmanned aircraft systems

In the not-too-distant future, large unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—those flying above 400 feet and weighing more than 55 pounds—will begin populating the skies: transporting cargo, fighting fires, delivering WiFi and even flying people around the world. Think Bigger: Large Unmanned Systems and the Next Major Shift in Aviation is the first look at the large UAS market in the United States, and highlights a potential $30 billion annual market and more than 60,000 jobs in support of the industry.

The impact of large UAS on Americans and our economy will impact us in many ways they see, and many other ways they don’t. Sooner than many people think, a significant portion of American commercial travel will be via autonomous aircraft. Long-haul cargo will drastically change, with new economic centers rising in places in our country where they don’t exist today. Airports and other intermodal transportation centers will need to be designed and redesigned to meet vastly different needs and experiences. Continue reading “Large unmanned aircraft systems will begin populating the skies in not-too-distant future”

Airbus Helicopters’ Skyways unmanned air vehicle successfully completes first flight demonstration

Airbus

Airbus Helicopters’ Skyways unmanned air vehicle has successfully completed its first flight demonstration at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The drone took off from its dedicated maintenance centre and landed on the roof of a specially designed parcel station where a parcel was automatically loaded via a robotic arm. Once successfully loaded with the parcel, the Skyways drone took off again and returned to land, demonstrating its automatic unloading capability.

This inaugural flight demonstration follows the launch of the experimental project with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) in February 2016 to develop an urban unmanned air system to address the safety, efficiency, and sustainability of the air delivery business in cities such as Singapore. The collaboration was subsequently extended in April 2017 with Singapore Post (SingPost) becoming the local logistics partner to the project. Continue reading “Airbus Helicopters’ Skyways unmanned air vehicle successfully completes first flight demonstration”

Boeing is accelerating breakthrough advancements in autonomous air travel (Video)

Boeing

Boeing is accelerating breakthrough advancements in autonomous air travel

It recently completed initial flight tests of an electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) unmanned cargo aerial vehicle (CAV) prototype. The innovative platform is designed to test and evolve Boeing’s autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles.

In less than three months, Boeing engineers designed and built the CAV prototype, which stands four feet off the ground, measures 15 by 18 feet and weighs more than 700 pounds. It is outfitted with eight counter-rotating propeller blades and custom Boeing batteries that allow for vertical flight. Continue reading “Boeing is accelerating breakthrough advancements in autonomous air travel (Video)”

Done Delivery Canada is expanding its commercial testing program to United States

Done Delivery Canada

Drone Delivery Canada ‘DDC or the Company, is pleased to announce that its expanding its commercial testing program to the United States of America at the New York Griffiss International Airport UAS Test Site, located in Rome, New York in Q1, 2018.

The Company anticipates that the US Pilot Program will then run through the balance of the year. This new initiative expands DDC’s testing program to include geographies within the United States utilizing its Sparrow X1000 drone which just recently achieved Compliant UAV Status with Transport Canada (December 2017). For testing, DDC will utilize its own proprietary FLYTE management software that is designed to support semi-autonomous flight as well as BVLOS (beyond visual line of site) flights designed for commercial drone deliveries.

“We have very strong interest from multiple commercial customers in the USA that not only want to test our drone delivery platform in Canada, but also in their own Country as well. This pilot program will act as an extension of our primary Canadian initiatives and will expand our data collection ability. The FAA approved Rome, N.Y. site was made available to us by the progressive initiatives of the FAA and provides an ideal testing environment to achieve our customers requests.” commented Tony Di Benedetto, CEO. “While collectively working with our key Canadian stakeholders and the invaluable support of Transport Canada and the Canadian Federal Government which has allowed us to progress to this point, we now look to put Canada on the forefront of commercial drone delivery technology on a global stage with our first expansion occurring south of the border.”, added Di Benedetto. Continue reading “Done Delivery Canada is expanding its commercial testing program to United States”

HERE and Unifly are teaming up to jointly enable airspace maps for drones

airspace maps

HERE and Unifly are teaming up to jointly enable airspace maps for drones

  • Rich and accurate data sources will be vital for safe drone transportation
  • In the Autonomous World, ground and airborne vehicle traffic will need coordination

Soon it may not only be our roads that are congested. The growing popularity of drones, whether for recreational or commercial use, has highlighted the challenge of managing traffic in low-altitude airspace. Moreover, in the future Autonomous World, the traffic of both airborne and ground vehicles will need to be well orchestrated to ensure safety and efficiency.

To help meet these needs, HERE Technologies, a global leader in digital mapping and location services, and Unifly, the leading provider of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) software, are teaming up to jointly enable airspace maps for drones. Continue reading “HERE and Unifly are teaming up to jointly enable airspace maps for drones”

African carrier Astral Aviation is to start testing its two-tonne Flyox drone in Malawi

two-tonne Flyox drone

African carrier Astral Aviation is to start testing its two-tonne Flyox drone in Malawi next month as it looks to start operating regular flights, writes Justin Burns.

Speaking at The International Air Cargo Association’s (TIACA) Executive Summit in Miami in the ‘Unmanned aircraft and new airline technology’ session on 19 October, chief executive officer, Sanjeev Gadhia says it is full steam ahead.

Gadhia says the plan is to operate the petrol-powered Flyox drone on point-to-point routes for various sectors in Africa sometime in the next three to six months.

He explains the drone, which was developed in Barcelona, Spain, would carry a range of shipments for various sectors including humanitarian aid (food and medical relief, vaccines etc), O&G and mining, agriculture and post and e-commerce. Continue reading “African carrier Astral Aviation is to start testing its two-tonne Flyox drone in Malawi”