Swoop Aero releases the Kite

The question of whether it is a plane or a bird has been answered.

It is a kite.

No; really. We are serious.

Or rather, Swoop Aero are serious; because we are taking their word for it.

The Australian drone logistics company has just launched a new delivery drone – the Kite – whose design the company says was inspired in part by the time its previous autonomous birds spent traversing the African skies, delivering medical supplies to rural communities in some parts of the continent, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi.

This must be the drone recycling season, as the Kite is being released following the launch of the Wingcopter 198 by German manufacturer, Wingcopter, and the retiring of the Robin drone by USA drone logistics company, Zipline.

You can learn more about the Kite from Swoop Aero’s announcement below.

Kite is Swoop Aero’s most advanced aircraft. But it is only one cog that makes the wheel turn in the advanced technology platform, which provides the full technology stack, including hardware, software, and supporting infrastructure. Real-time tracking, supply chain data, capture, and analytics are provided within an integrated technology platform.

Bringing together the best learnings of unparalleled operational and real-world experience from Swoop Aero’s ‘Kookaburra’— the existing aircraft that has clocked up 10,000 flights and counting— the Kite is built to unlock the skies above cities. Emerging from an Australian start-up, we believe the Kite will be the most advanced aircraft of its type being progressed through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification program.

This means that the Kite is capable of true airspace integration bringing a step change to breadth and scope of RPAS operations, and positioning Swoop Aero as the Qantas of drone logistics. This is supported by reciprocal Type Certification activities in Europe and Asia-Pacific to ensure that Swoop Aero can mobilise operations anywhere, anytime.

The Kite has been developed by Swoop Aero’s highly skilled and experienced team of Australian-based engineers to accommodate swift and sustainable manufacture and production requirements to scale effectively with the unique needs of impact-driven organisations across the world.

Behold, the Kite

Our new drone can travel up to 200km per hour and can operate across geographical ranges of more than 180 kilometres on a single battery charge with an increased payload capacity of up to 5 kgs. The driving force behind the Kite is Swoop Aero’s technology platform, which provides the full technology stack including hardware, software, and supporting infrastructure to customers.

Real-time tracking, supply chain data, capture, and analytics are provided within an integrated technology platform. Back at Swoop Aero’s Melbourne-based headquarters, a Digital Twin drives insights into system reliability and performance to deliver world-leading airworthiness outcomes through the use of AI.

Swoop Aero’s new aircraft is a powerhouse that brings together Swoop Aero’s lessons in over four years of operations across seven countries. With Swoop Aero’s operational capacity fully finessed for versatility, the Kite is designed with precision to suit the needs of communities in a range of markets, unlocking the skies for critical tasks such as:

  • Delivering pharmaceuticals, blood for urgent transfusion, automatic external defibrillators (AED) or personal protective equipment (PPE) into emergencies, and assisting with disaster response;
  • Minimising human interactions in the supply chain when isolation or social distancing is required;
  • Providing fast, safe and efficient transport between hospitals, including protecting organs;
  • Capturing aerial data for coastal, forestry, or terrain monitoring, as well as climate science and/or extreme weather management teams, and;
  • Contributing to search and rescue operations, including in wilderness and coastline areas and during extreme weather events;

“Our vision is for a world where seamless supply chains bring emotional and economic prosperity to all they serve,” says Swoop Aero’s Chief Executive Officer, Eric Peck. “We have developed a sophisticated, agile, and robust technology platform that is the complete infrastructure needed for drone logistics at scale and proven it in the real world. That platform, alongside the Kite, will support delivering our company’s vision as we strive to provide a service to 100 million people in 2025.

“The release and unveiling of the Kite is the sum of listening to our partners’ needs’ and learning from our extensive experience across seven countries and three continents to develop a pioneering solution that makes access to the skies seamless to address critical gaps in access to essential healthcare, emergency response, and search and rescue”.

This next generation of aircraft will spur the rapid expansion of the Swoop Aero air logistics platform globally, including across Swoop Aero’s existing network operations in Malawi, DR Congo, Mozambique, and Australia. It will enable Swoop Aero’s expansion into the American, European, and Asian markets.

“The technology and long-term vision alignment we see in private capital are what has continued to drive us down this path,” says Peck. “We’re not focused on short-term returns. We are looking beyond the next 5 years, to how Swoop Aero will become a leader not only in the growing medical logistics market, which is already growing exponentially, and a one-stop air logistics company in a market set to exceed $90 billion by 2030.”

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