Read or listen to all of the headlines in one place: excerpts from the drone news of the week, June 3. Click on the links below to read or listen to each story in full.
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ANRA Technologies will be providing Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RI & S) with access to its SmartSkies™ suite of technology solutions as part of a new contract between the two companies. The SmartSkies suite will be used to assist with simulation and live drone flight operations at Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership UAS test site at Virginia Tech, part of a larger effort to integrate Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations into the National Airspace Systems .
Drone safety systems pioneer ParaZero has filed an IPO this week. The IPO will be underwritten by Aegis Corp.: 2.5 million shares will be offered at a price between $5.20 – $7.20. “The Kiryat Ono, Israel-based company plans to raise $16 million by offering 2.5 million units at a price range of $5.20 to $7.20. Each unit consists of one share of common stock and two warrants, exercisable at the IPO price. At the midpoint of the proposed range, ParaZero Technologies would command a full diluted market value of $58 million,” says the Renaissance Capital announcement.
As countries seemingly stood by and debated what to do for Ukraine, the global commercial drone industry stepped up. In an unprecedented grassroots effort, global commercial drone manufacturers have worked directly with NATO, Ukrainian defense officials or nonprofits to put commercial off the shelf (COTS) and do-it-yourself hobby drones in the hands of Ukrainian military and volunteer forces. In many cases, they also provided in-person training. These companies have ultimately helped to save lives. This article highlights some of these impactful contributions.
Sonoran Desert Institute on Dawn of Drones! Join Dawn and special guest John Minor, Managing Director/Dean of the School of Unmanned Technology, Sonoran Desert Institute, our sponsor-of-the-month, as we kick off June and our “Emerging Industry Leaders” 4-week series on the podcast.
Sonoran Desert Institute was founded in 2000 and originally offered Gunsmithing as a program. In January 2022, SDI introduced the School of Unmanned Technology and began to offer the Certificate in Unmanned Technology – Aerial Systems program.
Blade Air Mobility, Inc., a provider of air transportation alternatives to congested ground routes, announced its first quarter results on May 10, 2022.
Key points of the Blade Air Mobility First Quarter Earnings Report:
- Revenue for the first quarter was $26.6 million, an increase of 187% year-over-year.
- Gross margin was 11% compared to 16% in Q1 2021.
- Net loss increased to $11 million versus a net loss of $4.2 million in the prior year period.
- Cash and investments at the end of March was a little over $269 million.
Last week, Joby Aviation received a Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate from the FAA, “allowing Joby to begin on-demand commercial air taxi operations,” says the company press release. Joby’s all-electric aircraft will transport a pilot and four passengers up to 150 miles on a single charge, at speeds of up to 200 mph.
The Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate is the first FAA approval Joby needs to operate their electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft as an air taxi. The Joby Aviation Part 135 certificate allows the company to operate as an air carrier: the vehicles, new to market, will also require a Type Certificate and a Production Certificate to carry passengers. Joby says that they are targeting Type Certification for 2023, “with Production Certification soon to follow.”
Melissa Schiele, a researcher at Loughborough University, is heading a new partnership with non-profit organization Oceans Unmanned and the Marine Research and High Education Center that aims to utilize drones to gain a greater understanding of the levels and rates of plastic pollution in the Maldives.
Melissa, a PhD researcher at the School of Mechanical, Electrical, and Manufacturing Engineering, has worked with the team during her time in the region. The partnership, with the support of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands, seeks to establish a standardized methodology for detecting plastics in the Indian Ocean using drones. At present, there is no standard technique in place for the gathering of information on plastic aggregations and reposition rates around the Maldives.
Commercial and military customers looking for a drone solution that combines the portability of a multi-rotor copter drone with the heavy-lift capability and long-range flight time of a fixed-wing aircraft might have found the answer they’re looking for with a new UAV built by drone startup WingXpand.
When disassembled, the aircraft, which the company bills as the world’s only expandable-wing drone, weighs about 10 pounds and can be carried in a backpack. It can be assembled onsite in under two minutes into a plane-like vehicle with a 7-foot wingspan that can fly up to five times longer and can carry 10 times more weight than conventional quadcopters.
Today, Swoop Aero announced a partnership with Astral Aviation subsidiary Astral Aerial Solutions and Skyports for the launch of a drone logistics network in Kenya. The partnership will see Swoop Aero make full use of its complete technology infrastructure and drone logistics experience to enable the transport of medicines, vaccines, and medical samples to patients and healthcare facilities throughout Kenya, with last-mile delivery set to launch by the end of 2022. This will be the first Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operation in Kenya, and will be carried out in close coordination with the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority to ensure safety and compliance with local regulations.
Mapping drone manufacturer Event 38 Unmanned Systems announced today the release of its E400, a new fixed-wing mapping drone designed and manufactured entirely in the United States. The E400 boasts an impressive flight time of ninety minutes, allowing it to cover a greater range and gather more data during a single flight. The drone possesses a payload capacity of three pounds, and is significantly more stable at altitude and in windy conditions than a multirotor drone.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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