Dronamics, a developer of autonomous cargo aircrafts, has completed a successful test flight of its Black Swan unmanned aerial aircraft.
The Black Swan, a cargo UAV developed by Dronamics, can transport 350kg, 2,500 kilometers at a cost that is 50 to 80% percent lower than with traditional cargo aircraft.
The company, which was founded by brothers Konstantin and Svilen Rangelov, aims to enable denser and better-optimised domestic networks in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where rising air cargo demand is be driven by rapid e-commerce growth.
The Black Swan flight test campaign spanned seven months, starting late 2017 in a variety of weather conditions on several general aviation and former military airfields in Bulgaria.
“Cargo, especially e-commerce, with its lower density, is underserved by existing airframes, which were almost always being designed with passengers in mind,” said Konstantin Rangelov.
“So very early on we decided if we really want to make flights as cheap as possible, we need to start with a clean-sheet design, and completely rethink how airplanes are built. What’s unique about the Black Swan is that it’s a design specifically optimised for cargo, and in particular high-frequency domestic flights carrying bulkier but lighter items like e-commerce.”
Glyn Hughes, head of cargo, IATA, added: “Innovations like this are just what our industry needs in order to adapt to the growing force of e-commerce and customer demands for shorter delivery times and lower costs.”