Drones were once a part of sci-fi movies but now these are becoming a reality and are used in many real-world applications. The technological advancements and progress have enabled many companies to come up with aerial vehicles such as drones and aircraft. These are used in a range of applications such as agriculture, commercial, defence and more.
Though the use of aerial vehicles is in the nascent stages, there are many startups that have cropped up in this sector. These startups have developed products that aim to give futuristic benefits to various industries across the world. Without further ado, here we have listed some of the breakthrough aerial vehicle startups in Europe handpicked by Silicon Canals that are meant to make futuristic tech a reality.
Ampyx Power (Netherlands)
Founders: Richard Ruiterkamp
Funding: €2.1 million
Ampyx Power established in 2008 aims to accelerate the energy transition by unlocking sustainable energy sources. The company’s Airborne Wind Energy System (AWES) is a tethered aircraft, which accesses more powerful and higher winds. This Dutch startup makes use of smaller foundations and lesser materials and increases the availability of sites for purposes including cost-effective harvesting of wind energy, off-shore repowering, etc.
Founders: Patrique Zaman
Founded in 2016, Avy is involved in developing innovative drones for life-saving, humanitarian and professional applications. The drones-for-good company builds long-range wing drones that are used to deliver medicines, conserve nature and protect wildlife. These drones get access to the most remote and tough-to-access places. As it is raised in Africa, Avy has learned to be safe and reliable while its on flight despite challenging weather conditions.
Hybrid Air Vehicles – Airlander (UK)
Founders: Roger Munk
Funding: €6.6 million
Hybrid Air Vehicles is an amalgam of best aeroplanes, helicopters and airships. The aircraft revolutionises the air cargo transportation segment. Founded in 2007, the company’s Airlander operates with the mission to change the way things fly. Airlander is touted to have capabilities that no other aircraft has. It is coupled with low emissions credentials that will make this hybrid aircraft a mainstay of aviation in the coming years.
The ROTORVOX (Germany)
CEO: Ronald Schoppe
The ROTORVOX founded in 2011 is an aviation company, which is a part of the LIFT Air aviation group. It includes the brands Horten Aircraft and Flight Design and benefits from the worldwide marketing opportunities and technical know-how. The ROTORVOX is a result of five years of intense flight testing, development and detailed optimisation. The company provides first-class flight characteristics despite being comfortable, simple and safe.
Founders: Sergei Lupashin
Funding: €1.2 million
Fotokite technology makes use of a tether, which is combined with an onboard IMU to estimate the vehicle’s position. Founded in 2014, it lets quick development and controlled flight and obviates the necessity for complex protocols, trained pilots, GPS dependency and bulky remote controls. The core algorithms of this company were refined and developed after years of research and experimentation.
Founders: Basil Weibel, Elias Kleimann, Maximilian Boosfeld
Funding: €8.1 million
Wingtra established in 2016 has developed an aerial robot, which can fly like a plane. It can take off and land vertically and can be used to gather aerial data of assets, surveying and mapping. The startup’s first autonomous drone is dubbed WingtraOne after years of meticulous research at the Autonomous Systems Lab in Zurich.
Azur Drones (France)
Founders: Jean Gagneraud, Stéphane Morelli
Funding: €13 million
In 2012, Azur Drones was founded as a pioneer in drone solutions. Within a few years, the company has progressed to become one of the leaders in surveillance UAVs as it developed a completely autonomous drone solution for to serve safety and security applications even in complex and sensitive environments. Azur Drones collaborates with well-established authorities and contractors in France, the Middle East and the US.
Atlas Dynamics (Ireland)
Founders: Igor Zhydanov, Ivan Tolchinsky
Funding: €7.3 million
Atlas Dynamics established in 2015 is a leading company involved in the design and manufacturing of autonomous UAV systems for use-cases that work with dominant security, defence and infrastructure institutions in Asia, the US and European Union. Atlas utilises proprietary and cost-effective technology to offer valuable data to defense and security users in the form of easy-to-use, highly-resistant and advanced products.
Clear Flight Solutions (Netherlands)
Founders: Nico Nijenhuis, Robert Jonker
Funding: €4.9 million
Robird is the backbone of Clear Flight Solutions. This bird control is highly efficient and offers effective solutions to agriculture, dredging, oil & gas and airports across the world. Founded in 2012, this startup’s Robird is a unique remote controlled robotic bird with a realistic appearance and weighs as much as a real bird. It offers new and exciting possibilities in the bird control industry.
Extreme Fliers (UK)
Founders: Vernon Kerswell
Extreme Fliers founded in 2011 is the maker of Micro Drone. Founded by an avid pilot and drone enthusiast, the company specialises in product development in the consumer drone industry. Initially, the company aimed at creating a small and advanced personal drone, which could fly.
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