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)”

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”

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”

Transport Canada approves autonomous delivery test in Class E airspace by Drone Delivery Canada

Drone Delivery Canada

Transport Canada approves autonomous delivery test in Class E airspace by Drone Delivery Canada

Drone Delivery Canada tested its service with Transport Canada approval in airspace that hosts “hundreds of daily helicopter and aircraft flights,” the company said. Autonomous delivery was tested in the Moose Factory and Moosonee communities in Ontario. Continue reading “Transport Canada approves autonomous delivery test in Class E airspace by Drone Delivery Canada”

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”

Innovative remote tower technology in Jersey supplied by Frequentis

remote tower technology

Innovative remote tower technology in Jersey supplied by Frequentis

Ports of Jersey and Systems Interface (PoJ Technology Partner) contracts Frequentis to supply an ATC contingency VCR solution for Jersey Airport in the Channel Islands based on Frequentis smartVISION product

In a step to improve resilience and business continuity, Ports of Jersey has selected Frequentis to supply a Virtual Tower solution for contingency operations, using remote tower technology. Jersey Airport is a critical part of the regional transport infrastructure and continuous air traffic services are paramount, especially in the event of a technical failure or evacuation.

Continue reading “Innovative remote tower technology in Jersey supplied by Frequentis”

IAI’s unmanned helicopter successfully completes proof of concept

unmanned helicopter

IAI’s unmanned helicopter successfully completes proof of concept

Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI) Unmanned systems have successfully completed a proof of concept to high officials of the defense industry and the IDF. Recently developed by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) the Air Hopper took a part in a demonstration that covered two scenarios, one simulating carrying a seriously-wounded soldier to a extraction point for life-saving treatment, airborne monitoring of vital signs and real-time dispatch to the ground. The second scenario simulated carrying logistic supplies to an isolated force at the front line, which could not be accessed otherwise without risking more troops.

As an unmanned helicopter used mainly to provide fast logistic supplies to sites where ground access is difficult or dangerous, the Air Hopper is based on a small, manned helicopter with a payload of 100-180 kg (depending on the model), flight time of two hours and speed of up to 120 km/h. the Air Hopper runs on an internal combustion engine which uses ordinary, 95-octane fuel and its price is considerably lower than that of a manned transport helicopter. This allows procurement of multiple unmanned helicopters to achieve flexible deployment and low-cost provisioning to the front lines while significantly mitigating the risk to human lives. Continue reading “IAI’s unmanned helicopter successfully completes proof of concept”