London-based Dronamics, a freight drone airline with a European operating authorisation, announced on Thursday, May 25, that its flagship aircraft, the Black Swan, successfully completed its inaugural flight at Bulgaria’s Balchik airport.
The development comes after months of ground testing and subscale flights. Two commercial airline pilots operated the Black Swan remotely from the Dronamics ground control centre.
Konstantin Rangelov, co-founder of Dronamics, says, “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.”
Dronamics’ licensed cargo drone technology is now approved for use on commercial flights in Europe and are expected to start later this year.
These flights will provide ecommerce, pharmaceutical, spare parts, and perishables businesses with a quick and affordable option to satisfy changing customer demands.
The company also mentions that this milestone will showcase the potential for the logistics sector to improve efficiency in product delivery.
Svilen Rangelov, co-founder of Dronamics, says, “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.”
The World’s first cargo drone airline
Founded in 2014 by brothers Konstantin and Svilen Rangelov, Dronamics is a cargo drone airline that develops and operates large, long-range drones. It aims to democratise airfreight for millions of people by making it more efficient, affordable and accessible.
Dronamics is on a mission to enable same-day delivery for everyone, everywhere.
The company’s flagship Black Swan can transport 350 kg (770 lb) at a distance of up to 2,500 km (1,550 mi), up to 80 per cent faster, 50 per cent less expensive, and with up to 60 per cent fewer emissions than alternative modes of transportation, including air freight.
Dronamics claims it is the first authorised freight drone airline in Europe and the first Global Strategic Partner for drones for International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The company has received a total of $40M in pre-Series A capital from early-stage funds and angel investors from 12 different countries. The EU also contributes money to the company through the European Innovation Council, its flagship innovation programme.
In November 2022, Dronamics partnered with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS), an innovator in the development of zero-emissions solutions for aerospace, to combine their expertise to integrate hydrogen fuel-cell technology into the Black Swan.
The company also partnered with Zero Petroleum, whose ZERO SynAVGAS fuel will be used in Dronamics’ ‘Black Swan’ drone for a carbon-neutral operation.
In September 2022, Dronamics signed a strategic manufacturing partnership with Cotesa, a European manufacturer of high-quality composite fibre components for aerospace and automotive companies.
The agreement ensures that the production of Dronamics’ cargo drones supports the demand for commercial routes to be launched in Europe in 2023.
Prior to that, in August 2022, Dronamics joined CAELUS project, a consortium of partners set to revolutionise the way in which healthcare services are delivered in Scotland.
CAELUS, a consortium led by AGS Airports, will design and test the UK’s first national distribution network that will use drones to distribute crucial medications, blood, organs, and other medical supplies throughout Scotland.
In July 2022, the company partnered with Quickstep, a tier-one manufacturer and the largest independent aerospace composites business in Australia, to accelerate the production of Black Swan cargo drones.