Delaware-based autonomous electric takeoff and landing (eVTOL) delivery drone developer Airlogix is making its way into that increasingly crowded segment convinced it has found the sweet spot that established rivals have left unoccupied.
The team of US-Ukrainian engineers behind Airlogix have been busy over the summer introducing the prototype of their Hammerhead eV20 autonomous eVTOL delivery drone they say is designed to fill a capacity gap between several kinds of aircraft. The company says the craft “combines the power and speed of a plane and the high mobility of a helicopter with the compactness and steering of a drone.” Airlogix claims the company has found a way to get top performance out of battery supplies that will allow the Hammerhead to fly heavier payloads to medium-distance destinations that smaller uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV) cannot, and which operators of heavy-lift craft consider too short and light to take on.
Improving battery efficiency by a factor of four, Airlogix says, allows its Hammerhead to transport payloads of up to 20 kg at top speeds of 90 km/h over a maximum range of 100 km. It claims craft produced by rival Volansi and Wingcopter can fly similar medium-range missions, but with cargo limited to 9 kg and 6 kg respectively. Dronevolt’s French Hercules 20, Airlogix continues, totes 15 kg, but allows for relatively short flight times of 15 minutes. The only options for companies seeking to fly greater payload on longer flights, it argues, is turning to heavy-lift craft that represent overkill for 10-20 kg of cargo.
That’s where Airlogix thinks it has a big opening with the Hammerhead. It is designed to carry medical containers, emergency kits, components, and rescue robots for mid-range, non-polluting autonomous eVTOL drone deliveries. The company believes the craft will prove valuable across a variety of humanitarian, rescue, and medical missions, and help construction, mining, and energy companies perform more efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly missions.
If Airlogix talks a big game for a newcomer, it matches that by moving fast as well. After launching research and concept design in September 2020, the company has already completed production and testing of its Hammerhead prototype. Its aim now is to commence manufacturing of the craft in the third quarter of next year, with sales after that.
“We already confirmed all flight indicators on the downscaled model,” says Airlogix CEO Vitalii Kolesnichenko. “Now we plan to move to a full-size model test and then move to serial production. All our work ‘on the ground’ is aimed at this goal – to raise Hammerhead eV20 into the sky as soon as possible. We believe this should significantly expand the capabilities of the entire UAV industry.”