Bulgarian company Dronamics, which produces and operates middle-mile cargo drones, said on July 18 it has entered into a strategic partnership with Australian Quickstep Holdings Limited that will start manufacturing its drones.
The partnership aims to accelerate the scale-up of the Dronamics fleet as demand for capacity on their routes is rising. Demand for cargo drones is increasing in the logistics industry, both lightweight drones for first and last mile deliveries and larger cargo drones for longer-distance operations.
“The turnkey solution partnership will help accelerate the production of the Dronamics cargo drones. With the first units landing in 2023, the long-term plan targets the ramp-up of production of hundreds of Black Swan cargo drones annually in the next four years," the company said.
In May, Dronamics said it has become the first company in the EU to obtain a Light UAS Operator Certificate (LUC) for middle-mile cargo operations.
It said on July 18 that the agreement comes at a key time as the company is gearing up to launch commercial operations in Europe before the end of this year and enter Australia in 2023.
“The first strategic manufacturing partnership is a key milestone in our mission to enable same day delivery for everyone, everywhere. As an innovator who is challenging the status quo in cargo mobility, we are thrilled to have the support of an experienced partner like Quickstep to help us realise the full potential of our solution,” Konstantin Rangelov, co-founder and chief technology officer of the company, said in the press release.
The chief executive officer of Quickstep, Mark Burgess, added that the Dronamics solution could revolutionise the middle-mile cargo delivery sector with the partnership giving his company the opportunity to provide its engineering and manufacturing expertise into delivering a large sophisticated cargo drone.
Dronamics’ Black Swan can carry up to 350 kg of cargo at a distance of up to 2,500 km at a cost up to 80% lower than any existing aircraft. The Black Swan is a fixed-wing aircraft that can operate from runways as short as 400 metres, unpaved, and will enable Dronamics to serve customers in small and remote communities. The Black Swan can run on 100% synthetic fuel.
In July 2021, Dronamics signed a partnership agreement with DHL to jointly develop solutions and offer same-day cargo drone deliveries to customers using the drone delivery network and Black Swan drones from Dronamics.