Dronamics to unveil Black Swan cargo delivery drone Dec. 7

Dronamics drone deliveries

Bulgarian UAV manufacturer and service provider Dronamics has staked its future on the bet it can both create and corner the market on middle-mile drone deliveries. On Tuesday, December 7, the company takes a big step toward that objective by unveiling the first production unit of its Black Swan cargo plane.

The company will be presenting the craft at a live-streamed event beginning at 7:15 p.m. CET (3:15 p.m. EST) on December 7, registration for which is open here. Dronamics cofounder and CTO Konstantin Rangelov will present the first production model of the Black Swan, which he believes will revolutionize freight drone deliveries by increasing payload and distance capacities that, up until now, have been considered too limited to be financially viable. 

What makes the craft different from others, Rangelov says, is its conception specifically for freight transport.

Its design and tech composition will allow the craft to operate far more efficiently and economically than existing UAVs – up to 80%, he says. That, he argues, will make flying bigger payloads over longer distances vastly cheaper than they currently are, and thus make far faster “middle mile” drone deliveries preferrable to current road hauling practices.  

“For more than 100 years people have designed airplanes for humans first, meaning they were never really optimized for cargo, and in fact, they’re quite inefficient,” says Rangelov, who founded Dronamics with his brother and company CEO Svilen. “By being extremely focused solely on carrying cargo, we were able to develop an aircraft that is able to do the job at up to 80% lower cost than any other airplane, meaning we can bring the benefits of aviation to billions of people around the world who do not get regular air service.”

While still required to obtain certification for flight in Europe and beyond, introduction of the first production model of the Black Swan is a major milestone for the company. The fixed-wing plane has a span of 52 feet, a fuselage eight feet long, and can take off and land on runways as short as 400 feet. Dronamics says the specialized UAV can carry maximum payloads of 770 lbs. over ranges of 1,550 miles, at top altitudes of 2,000 feet and at full speeds of 125 mph. 

All of that, the brothers argue, will soon bring routine, fast same-day drone delivery of all sorts of goods to places and people currently considered too far-flung for aerial cargo transport to be a financially viable option. Meanwhile, its bioethanol-fueled engines are already far less polluting than trucking transport now dominating middle-mile hauling, and are slated to become carbon neutral by 2023, and carbon negative in 2027.

“The unveiling of the Black Swan represents a critical milestone in the company’s mission to enable same-day shipping for everyone everywhere,” says CEO Svilen Rangelov. “The years of hard work are paying off and as soon as we’re done with our extensive test program and obtain certification in 2022, we are going to begin commercial operations – serving customers in Europe and beyond years ahead of everyone else.”

The unveiling marks another significant development for Dronamics in what already had been an eventful 2021. Earlier this year, the company announced it had signed middle-mile service deals with German freight forwarding group Hellmann Logistics, as well as cargo transport giant DHL. Last month it announced it has selected Malta as its European operational base – a geographical position that could facilitate future service to the Middle East and Africa should the opportunity arise.

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