AutoFlight unveils high-payload advanced air mobility firefighting program and debuts fully functional prototype
by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Walker Robinson
AutoFlight has announced their electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) firefighting program and prototype drone. The firefighting drone is a modified version of Autoflight’s CarryAll product with an impressive range and payload capacity enabling it to combat fires in a variety of situations.
AutoFlight is a multinational company focused on aerial solutions across a variety of industries. Integrating artificial intelligence, 5G, and advanced drone manufacturing, AutoFlight has been driving growth in the eVTOL drone industry since their founding in 2017. Their eVTOL products have diverse applications, from passenger transport to fire suppression.
The firefighting prototype demonstrated this month successfully extinguished a controlled fire. The eVTOL drone has a maximum takeoff weight of two metric tons, including a payload of four 100 kg payload of advanced fire-extinguishing canisters. Each canister bursts directly above the target area, capable of extinguishing up to 200 square meters, for a combined payload effectiveness of 800 square meters. The drone can reach speeds greater than 200 km per hour and fly for several hours at a time without needing to recharge.
AutoFlights original eVTOL product, the CarryAll, which their firefighting drone is based off, is expected to receive certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) early next year.
In response to the successful prototype flight, Kellen Xie, Senior Vice President of Global Sales & Business Development at AutoFlight said, “Compared to existing fire-fighting Unmanned Aerial Vehicles available in the market, AutoFlight’s prototype has achieved significant breakthroughs in terms of load capacity, flight duration, coverage, flight efficiency and firefighting effectiveness. The initial demonstrations with potential customers received very encouraging feedback. We will now enter discussions with clients and development partners to evolve the prototype into product, including ground station and supporting systems.”
The impressive range and payload capacity make it a potentially invaluable tool to firefighting agencies across the world. Either addressing small, spontaneous fires in remote locations, or supplementing larger fire suppression efforts in a rural or urban environment.
Walker Robinson is a 2022 Graduate of the University of California Santa Barbara with a passion for renewable energy and emerging technologies. An early career professional experienced in both sales and development of residential and utility-scale renewable energy systems, he is delighted to be part of the drone industry.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.