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Drone News of the Week August 19


Archer eVTOL, drone news of the weekRead or listen to all of the headlines in one place: excerpts from the DRONELIFE drone news of the week, August 19.  Click on the titles below for the full story.

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Manna Drone Delivery Expands: New Delivery Sites, New Manufacturing

Manna, the first ever aviation-grade B2B drone delivery ‘as-a-service’ company, has unveiled its plans for the remainder of 2022 and 2023, which include expansion into the USA and Europe. The company is additionally planning the development of a new manufacturing site, as well as the establishment of a delivery site within a large suburb in Dublin. Manna also announced its intent to expand its staff of 103 earlier this year, with plans to hire a local team of up to 50 in order to satisfy an increased demand.

United Airlines Puts $10 Million Down to Purchase 100 Archer eVTOL Aircraft

Archer Aviation announced that United Airlines has submitted a pre-delivery payment of $10 million for 100 of Archer’s initial production eVTOL aircraft.  This serves as a major milestone for the eVTOL industry, illustrating trust in the commercialization of eVTOL aircraft as well as Archer’s leadership. United initially agreed to the purchase of 100 aircraft from Archer last year, demonstrating its interest in becoming one of the first U.S. airline operators to bring eVTOL aircraft to market.

Ondas Holdings Earnings Call: New Customers, Bigger Deal Size

Ondas Holdings Inc., through its subsidiaries, Ondas Networks and American Robotics (“AR”), is a provider of private wireless, drone, and automated data solutions. The company announced its second quarter results on August 9, 2022.

The key points:

  • Revenue for the second quarter was $600k compared to $900k for the three months ended June 30, 2021. However, revenue increased 50% quarter-over-quarter.
  • Gross margin was 52.7% compared to 34.6% in Q2 2021.
  • Net loss was around $11.3 million compared to a $2.8 million loss in Q2 2021.
  • Cash balance at the end of June was about $28 million.

Zenith AeroTech Tethered Drones Delivered to Federal Law Enforcement: the Ultimate Overwatch Solution

Heavy-lift tethered aerial vehicles (TAVs) leader Zenith AeroTechannounced that it has delivered two Quad 8 TAVs to a Federal law enforcement agency for use as a command overwatch solution during emergency response missions. Both Quad 8s were specially designed to satisfy the request of the customer for a long-endurance aerial platform capable of simultaneously transporting electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) video cameras, a communications relay system, and overhead, high-intensity light panels. The Quad 8 is able to manage a total of 20 pounds, more than double the necessary capacity to sustain the camera, communications relay, and two 17,000-lumen, weather-resistant LED panels.

Windracers Funding: Cargo Drone Company Scores Third Round

Cargo drone developer Windracers has announced a third round of successful funding obtained from UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Future Flight challenge, a program funding technological advancements. Future Flight’s phase 3 projects share £73 million in funding for the development of integrated aviation systems and new vehicle technologies.This new round of funding will enable Windracers to carry out additional testing of its middle mile logistics drones and autopilot technology.

Unmanned Safety Institute on Dawn of Drones, August 17

This week on the Dawn of Drones podcast, join Dawn and special guest Josh Olds, President and CEO of the Unmanned Safety Institute (USI) as we continue Developing Industry Leadership month, sponsored by Skydio. The two will discuss the various ways that USI empowers and enables businesses and academia through unparalleled uncrewed systems programs with industry-relevant safety content and training solutions. USI provides turnkey safety solutions, from online training programs, enterprise solutions to academic curriculum and professional certifications. Learn how USI provides industry safety foundations today for effective and efficient scaled operations tomorrow!

The Blue sUAS Framework: A Conversation with ModalAI

Many assume the Defense Innovation Unit’s (DIU) Blue UAS program focuses solely on ready-to-fly drones. “Blue,” however, consists of several distinct, but related, lines of effort.  At its heart, the program exists to spur faster acquisitions of all the cyber-secure pieces and parts that enable uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) operations for the Department of Defense (DOD) and its federal partners. Autopilot systems rank high among these required UAS critical components. And San Diego, California-based startup ModalAI’s VOXL® family of autopilots has formed the nucleus of the Blue UAS framework, almost since its inception.

Autonomous Drones May Be the Only Way to Monitor Floating Solar Farms

Leading autonomous inspection and monitoring solution provider Perceptorevealed that it has successfully concluded a proof-of-concept (POC) for the observation of a 250 acre floating solar farm alongside the Electric Generating Authority of Thailand(EGAT).  Positioned 350m off of the closest shoreline on the Sirindhorn dam basin in Southeastern Thailand, the solar farm is one of the largest of its kind, and comprises seven sections supported by buoys. Reflecting Thailand’s goal of reaching carbon neutral status by 2050, the floating solar farm consists of 145,000 solar panels, which gather power from the sun during the day and convert energy from flowing water at night.

Airspeeder Flying Cars Ready to Race [VIDEO]

Alauda Aeronautics, the creator of the world premier flying electric car racing series Airspeeder, has completed its 250th Test Flight, bringing the company closer to its goal of growing the eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) industry. Alauda will next bring Airspeeder to a global audience via its inaugural Grand Prix series, with events to be held on every continent. The company is also working towards the development of the first ever private performance eVTOL aircraft, following in the footsteps of companies such as Ferrari in its transition from racing to private vehicles.

AeroVironment Acquires Planck Aerosystems: Tethered Sensor Systems, Flight Autonomy Solutions

Today, intelligent multi-domain robotic systems leader AeroVironment, Inc. announced its acquisition of advanced unmanned aircraft navigation solutions provider Planck Aerosystems.  The small San Diego-based company will be acquired by AeroVironment’s Petaluma-based medium unmanned aircraft systems (MUAS) business segment in order to integrate its flight autonomy solutions like ACE (Autonomous Control Engine) to allow for safe, autonomous takeoff and landing from mobile platforms in areas lacking GPS.

Documentary on Women in the Drone Industry to Film at Commercial UAV Expo in September

Commercial UAV Expo has been announced as an official filming location for a multi-part documentary produced through a partnership with Women and Drones and documentary film company Monumental Access. The partnership will focus on inspiring the next generation of talented aviation leaders by capturing the stories and footage of women in the drone industry.

 



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