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bne IntelliNews – Bulgarian Dronamics launches unmanned aircraft for cargo drone market that is about to explode

Bulgarian company Dronamics, which produces and operates medium-range cargo drones, unveiled its Black Swan unmanned aircraft on December 9, saying it will usher in a new era for the global cargo industry.

Demand for cargo drones is increasing in the logistics industry, both light drones for first and last mile deliveries and larger cargo drones for longer range operations.

Dronamics’ Black Swan falls into the latter category, with its ability to carry up to 350 kg of cargo at a distance of up to 2,500 km at a cost up to 80% lower than that of any aircraft. existing.

“Seven years ago two brothers – Svilen and Konstantin Rangelov, economist and aerospace engineer – started with the crazy idea of ​​building a large unmanned drone that could carry up to 350 kg of cargo at a distance of up to 2,500 km away. 80% cheaper than any existing aircraft. Last night, during a spectacular outdoor presentation during a snowstorm at Sofia airport, the two brothers unveiled their first production unit of the Black Swan aircraft which is ready to start commercial flights for same day delivery service to Europe early next year, ”said Dronamics. in a press release sent to bne IntelliNews.

The Black Swan is a fixed-wing aircraft that can operate from runways as short as 400 meters, unpaved, and will allow Dronamics to serve customers in small, remote communities. The Black Swan can run on 100% synthetic fuel.

“The unveiling of the Black Swan is a critical step in the company’s mission to enable same-day shipping for everyone, everywhere. Years of hard work are paying off and as soon as we complete our extensive testing program and achieve certification in 2022, we will begin business operations, serving customers in Europe and beyond years ahead of everyone else ” said co-founder and CEO Svilen Rangelov said in the press release.

In July, Dronamics signed a partnership agreement with DHL to jointly develop solutions and offer same-day cargo drone deliveries to customers using Dronamics’ drone delivery network and Black Swan drones.

Earlier this month, Dronamics Capital, a company set up to invest in cargo drone maker Dronamics, successfully completed an IPO on the Bulgarian stock exchange, raising BGN 6million (€ 3.1million) .

Management consulting firm Roland Berger estimates the size of the global non-military drone market at $ 5.5 billion. He notes that despite the hype around future flying taxis, “it is in the somewhat less glamorous logistics industry that real practical progress is being made in the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Unlike flying taxis, cargo drones are a proven technology: they can now make online shopping deliveries to backyards, deliver life-saving medicines to otherwise inaccessible places, and roam warehouses delivering parts at the exact moment. where they are needed.

While drone delivery is still in its infancy, several governments have already issued permits for companies to test commercial cargo drones, and in 2019 Wing received a permit to make commercial deliveries to the aid cargo drones in the United States, while Amazon is developing its Prime Air. small drone service.

In the segment targeted by drones, “large-capacity, long-range deliveries via cargo drones are becoming more and more feasible,” according to a comment from Roland Berger. “Instead of bundling goods into trucks or trains on a set schedule, cargo drones can carry fewer items more often with more flexibility. Despite the huge investments required to build drones of this stature, several established and new market players are struggling to become operational. “

There are also potential environmental gains, as a study by communications firm Inmarsat and Cranfield University released this fall found that switching to drones can reduce carbon dioxide emissions from deliveries by up to 48%.