Another drone made in Niger takes to the skies
Nigerien drone maker and drone services provider Drone Africa Service has launched its second made-in-Africa drone – the T-250 Iris.
Having grown up crazy with the idea of building planes all his life, the DAS founder Aziz Kountche realised his dream when his company unveiled the first T-series drone to the world – the T-400 Yagui.
“We decided to produce a multi-role device; a standard drone issue with parts that could be refitted from one model to another,” Kountche said in 2017. “Our T-series drones – including the 350 and the 400 drones – can be fitted with components for several different subcategories, depending on the job at hand. The T400 is available in S version for Surveillance, the M version for mapping, the C version for Cargo; and the AG version for precision farming.
“It’s the same drone, but the sensors are different. The M version, for example, has a dedicated mapping camera, while the AG version has a specific camera with an NDVI sensor. The S version can be equipped with a camera with night vision.”
Now the T-250 Iris is the latest edition to this line of drones. According to DAS, the drone has a 2,8-metre wingspan and features a chassis made of composite material. It has a payload capacity of up to 13,5 kg and can fly at a top speed of 240 kilometres per hour.
That is really fast.
A stationary flight function is also boarded.
Kountche is satisfied with the trajectory his company is taking, which he says is not far from other drone industry players in the West African region, which include the TAGUS Drone made in Cameroon by Taguia Kana Borel; and Moussa Diarra’s Millennium Technologies in Mali.
“All our drones are proudly made here in Niger. We have our own workshop in Niamey. We do import some components (like cameras, aeronautics glue and carbon fibre), which we cannot make here, from all over the world. We usually order these important components from countries like France, Germany, Australia, the United States and Japan.”
The DAS proprietor is also planning to acquire industrial machinery to boost production in a drone industry in which he sees a real economic opportunity, not least because of the ever-rising turnover of DAS (currently over $180,000 per year). He also wants to train young people in the design of drones, to revolutionise the sector with new ideas and make Niger a drone exporting country.