First long distance cargo drone launched

First long distance cargo drone launched

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The first unmanned drone for long distance freight services has been officially launched in Bulgaria.

The DX-1 Black Swan is a fixed wing drone with a wingspan of 16m that can carry up to 350 kg of cargo at a distance of up to 2,500 km at up to 80 percent lower cost than any other aircraft. The first production unit was unveiled at Sofia Airport ready to start commercial flights for same-day delivery service in Europe early next year.

The Black Swan, developed by Dronamics, can operate from unpaved runways as short as 400m to serve customers in even the smallest and most remote communities to ferry vital supplies between islands or delivering critical spare parts deep into a country. The company has signed a deal with DHL Deutsche Post, the world’s largest logistics company, to supply up to 4000 of the drones, says Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder and CEO.

“The unveiling of the Black Swan represents a critical milestone in the company’s mission to enable same-day shipping for everyone everywhere. The years of hard work are paying off and as soon as we’re done with our extensive test program and obtain certification in 2022 we are going to begin commercial operations, serving customers in Europe and beyond years ahead of everyone else,” said Rangelov.

“For more than 100 years people have designed airplanes for humans first, meaning they were never really optimized for cargo, and in fact, they’re quite inefficient. By being extremely focused solely on carrying cargo, we were able to develop an aircraft that is able to do the job at up to 80% lower cost than any other airplane, meaning we can bring the benefits of aviation to billions of people around the world who do not get regular air service,” said his brother, Konstantin Rangelov, who is co-Founder and CTO.

The company has worked with Ansys, Microsoft and Dassault Systms on the development of the drone and an automated management system. The company also has a number of deals with airports across Europe.

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