US-made drones are growing in importance – and a new partnership between US-based manufacturer Skydio and Arris, a leader in advanced manufacturing of high-performance products, could help revolutionize the way drones are designed and manufactured.
Skydio and Arris have “redefined the airframe design using Additive Molding ™, Arris’ breakthrough carbon fiber manufacturing technology,” a press release said. Arris Additive Molding ™ is “… a high-speed composite manufacturing technology that combines continuously aligned fibers and electronic components in topology-optimized structures.” Skydio said the new design and manufacturing process will result in better aircraft and faster manufacturing.
Skydio will implement the new design and manufacturing process starting with the new Skydio X2 drone. The new carbon fiber technology means “lighter, more extensive and more robust aircraft structures on a scale,” the press release said.
The collaboration with Skydio marks the first use of Arris technology in the drone industry and could lead to additional groundbreaking benefits for the US-made Skydio drones:
Advanced airframe design with component consolidation enables Skydio to replace a 17-piece assembly with a single multifunctional structure.
The strength and stiffness of titanium at a fraction of the weight, allowing the Skydio X2 to increase range and speed
Optimized arrangement of carbon and glass fibers based on the functional requirements of the individual areas of the airframe
Scalable manufacturing and innovation in the US to deliver excellence in aerospace at a lower cost
“We are excited about the value our partnership with Arris will bring to our customers. At Skydio we pursue innovative innovations in all facets of drone technology. The unique properties of Arris Additive Molding Carbon Fiber allow us to optimize the strength, weight and radio signal transparency of the Skydio X2 airframe to deliver a highly reliable solution that meets the needs of demanding business, public safety and defense use cases fulfilled ”, says Adam Bry, CEO of Skydio.
The Skydio X2 series is an autonomous aircraft designed for either corporate or defense purposes. They are a small, foldable drone designed for rough use. The new manufacturing method should be stronger, lighter and faster to produce. “The X2 airframe will contain a newly developed core structural element made with Arris’ Additive Molding ™ technology. Arris’ unique additive molding uses 3D-aligned continuous fiber composites to create complex shapes where the material composition can change within areas of a single part. As a result, Skydio was able to use a single carbon fiber component with the structural results that otherwise would have required 17 parts. “
“The evolution of aerospace design has been interrupted by breakthroughs in manufacturing and materials. One such moment has come when the manufacture of optimized structures has converged with the ideals of composites to unlock previously impossible high-performance designs for the aerospace industry. “Says Ethan Escowitz, Founder and CEO of Arris. “As we partner with leading aerospace manufacturers to improve aircraft performance, sustainability and cost. Skydio’s culture and market have enabled an unmatched pace of innovation that has accelerated this transformation to deliver the next generation of aircraft structures. It is just amazing to see such a revolutionary product widely available and flying today. “
Miriam McNabb is editor-in-chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a marketplace for professional drone services, and a fascinating observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has authored over 3,000 articles focusing on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam graduated from the University of Chicago and has over 20 years experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For advice or writing in the drone industry, email Miriam.
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