Skyports Drone Services and electric, autonomous aircraft manufacturer, Pyka, have agreed on a partnership for heavy payload drone logistics. The collaboration will leverage Skyports Drone Services’ extensive operational experience and Pyka’s best-in-class heavy payload aircraft to provide game-changing drone delivery services.  

The partnership will see Skyports Drone Services welcome the newly unveiled Pyka Pelican Cargo uncrewed aerial system (UAS) as the latest addition to its fleet. The large autonomous electric aircraft’s 175+ kg payload capacity and 1.85m3 cargo volume, significantly increases Skyports Drone Services’ payload capabilities and complements the existing lineup of UAS solutions currently utilised by the UK drone operator. Pyka’s Pelican Cargo will be deployed for a range of use cases and operations, including services for humanitarian aid, logistics and delivery companies, as well as healthcare and medical organisations.

A full flight programme with Pelican Cargo will begin in early Q2 in Cornwall, UK, and will include flights for the Future Flight Challenge phase three Open Skies Cornwall project, one of four UK Research & Innovation funded projects won by Skyports Drone Services in July 2022.

The introduction of Pyka’s Pelican Cargo aircraft into the Skyports Drone Services fleet supports the company’s ambitions of implementing drone operations at scale. The substantial uplift in capacity strengthens the UK drone operator’s proposition and market position.

Alex Brown, Director, Skyports Drone Services, said: “Having a fully electric, autonomous, heavylift cargo drone in our fleet is a real gamechanger. To date, we’ve been focused on operations with smaller, high value payloads; the introduction of the Pelican Cargo brings new capabilities and means we can now fly significant volumes of cargo long distances, connecting communities in remote areas and providing a regular, robust form of transport in and out of hard-to-reach areas. Importantly, we’re doing this now – this isn’t future gazing, it’s a ready-to-go service.”

“Skyports Drone Services is one of the most sophisticated drone operators in the market and an ideal partner for the deployment of Pyka’s Pelican Cargo,” says Pyka Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Michael Norcia. “We are thrilled to be working with the team at Skyports to demonstrate the Pelican Cargo’s revolutionary capabilities and operating economics.”

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