Broke cargo drone specialist Volansi bought by Sierra Nevada Corp.

Volansi cargo drone

Aerospace and defense company Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) revealed it has acquired financially stricken autonomous cargo drone maker Volansi in a cash transaction whose amount was not disclosed. 

SNC announced the deal Monday, but says it was finalized late last month in the wake of Volansi’s August filing for assignment for the benefit of creditors – an alternative to bankruptcy. Through its purchase, SNC takes possession of Volansi’s intellectual property and assets – including the Voly-50 and Voly-T line of cargo drones – and production facilities in Bend, Oregon.

Trouble began accumulating for Volansi earlier this year after it reportedly lost $75 million in financing it had been promised by venture capital backers. The company’s diversification from cargo drones to UAVs with military applications gave it attractive, overlapping activities with SNC once its money ran out. Indeed, the two companies had been working together in the Army Future Tactical Unmanned Systems Increment 2 program since last December.

Read: Volansi unveils long-distance VOLY 50 adaptable payload drone 

Tim Owings, SNC vice president of mission solutions and technologies, said that even in their conception as flexible multi-purpose vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) cargo drones, both Voly-50 and Voly-T craft are adaptable to the kind of uses the company wants to develop for its defense clients.

“SNC is committed to delivering a future (uncrewed) system with the payload, range, and endurance that our military needs,” Ownings said. “Adding the Volansi capabilities to the existing SNC portfolio was a perfect fit. Our complementary technologies will create a world where mission-tailored VTOL drones make it possible to support any industry, to deliver anything, anywhere, anytime.”

He added that Volansi’s Voly-50 cargo drone series can act as the model of future SNC UAVs aiming to provide durability, a small operational footprint, and easy deployment in difficult terrain and contested situations for tactical resupply missions of heavy payloads. Those assets will be designed to simultaneously provide full awareness as part of that activity using intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) sensors.

That sturdiness and wide range of capabilities, said SNC vice president for mission solutions and technologies programs, Josh Walsh, will make updated generations of Volansi craft valuable on defensive missions as well as those more closely rooted in traditional cargo drone operations.

“SNC wanted to keep the dream alive by bringing to fruition the ability to support both ISR and humanitarian aid missions, reaching locations that were once unreachable to deliver survival kits, blankets, food, and water,” said Walsh. “The Volansi systems are unique because they offer the military a new generation of flexible UAVs that provide long-haul aircraft with superior flight range, flexible payload capacity, and the ability to fly beyond visual line of sight.” 

Subscribe to DroneDJ on YouTube for exclusive videos

Load more...
Show More Comments