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The Black Swan Takes Off as Dronamics Makes Its First Cargo Drone Flight Test

Dronamics first flight
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  • In a historic moment for the global logistics industry, Dronamics, the world’s first cargo drone airline, announced the first successful flight of its flagship aircraft, the Black Swan. 
  • The event, held at the Balchik airport in Bulgaria, showcased the potential of Dronamics’ technology to change international product transportation. 
  • The take-off of the Black Swan aircraft happens after months of ground testing and subscale flights. The cargo drone was remotely piloted by two commercial airline pilots. 

 

The flight lasted 10 minutes and 27 seconds and covered a distance of 21.5 km (16 miles), reaching an altitude of up to 2,000 feet and operating at an average speed of 75 knots (140 km/hr). 

“Since the day we first imagined what the Black Swan aircraft could look like, we’ve worked towards this flight. Today we’ve made history and are proud to have demonstrated the validity of our drone technology,” Konstantin Rangelov, co-founder and CTO of Dronamics, shares with excitement. 

”It’s taken an enormous amount of hard work, belief and drive to prove that what we envisioned works. We can now focus on the next step, the roll-out of our commercial operations, and we couldn’t be more excited,” Svilen Rangelov, co-founder and CEO of Dronamics, adds.

Fuelled by the passion and determination of the two visionary brothers, Svilen and Konstantin,  Dronamics emerged from their mission to productize a faster, greener, and more cost-effective method of delivering goods.

This significant flight not only validates the licensed cargo drone technology of Dronamics for commercial operations in Europe, but also opens up new opportunities for same-day delivery in industries such as e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, spare parts, and perishables. As the company prepares for the commercial launch of its operations, anticipation grows for the potential impact Dronamics will have on the global logistics landscape. 

9 years in the making

Since its establishment in 2014, Dronamics has grown into a scaleup that employs over 150 aircraft and engineering professionals across 12 countries. Even from the early days, their endeavors centered around the mission to make same-day delivery accessible to everyone, regardless of their location.

Read more:  Scaling to New Heights: The Recursive's Journey with Dare to Scale

Today, 9 years after the idea was born, Dronamics is getting closer and closer to introducing an affordable, efficient, and sustainable freight solution that addresses the needs of remote and underserved communities. 

In May 2022, Dronamics became the first cargo drone airline to obtain an operational license in Europe. It then signed manufacturing agreements to produce the Black Swan drone at scale in Europe and Australia, joined the UK’s first medical drone distribution network, and partnered with Zero Petroleum and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions to power its Black Swan with eco-friendly fuel alternatives. 

Earlier this year, Dronamics raised a $40M pre-series A round from VCs and angel investors from 12 countries, including Founders Factory, Speedinvest, Eleven Capital, and the Strategic Development Fund (SDF), the investment arm of the Tawazun Council. The investment came less than three months after the company was awarded a €2.5M grant by the European Commission under the European Innovation Council (EIC) Accelerator program in November 2022. 

Setting new standards in middle-mile deliveries

The company is focused on the middle-mile deliveries segment and envisions transforming supply chains through the integration of three core components: the Black Swan long-range cargo drone, the Droneports network, and the Network Operation Centers (NOCs). 

The Black Swan is able to carry a payload of up to 350 kg (770 lb) and can cover distances of up to 2,500 km (1,550 miles). The cargo drone promises up to 50% cost savings, time reductions of up to 80%, and a 60% reduction in emissions compared to traditional transportation methods. 

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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive, an online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. She is keen on sharing the innovation stories that shape the regional ecosystem and has a great interest in fintech, IoT, and biotech startups. Elena is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria.