German fixed-wing drone manufacturer Quantum-Systems has racked up another accomplishment in what has already been an eventful year by obtaining the European Union Aviation Safety Agency’s (EASA) C3 certification of its Trinity F90+ UAV.
Munich-based Quantum-Systems said its triple-prop Trinity F90+ obtained C3 qualification from Alter Technology, a Spanish unit of the TÜV Nord Group accredited to process drone certification requests. The C3 category is applicable to craft with takeoff weight of between 4 and 25 kilograms. That mass factor is the major difference with EASA C1 and C2 criteria that also includes noise emission indicators, remote identification capacities, geo-awareness tech, and a low battery warning.
What makes qualification for C3 certification significant, Quantum-System says, is in the Trinity F90+ beating the EASA deadline for all new drones sold as of January 1, 2024 – a reflection of the company’s focus on forward-looking aerial tech and performance.
Though drones purchased before 2024 will be grandfathered for continued use afterward, Quantum-Systems says C3 early certification of the Trinity F90+ gives future customers assurance their vehicles will be EASA compliant beyond that date. Meanwhile, existing customers have the option of an upgrading their UAVs to meet the new standards, or operate them under the exemption.
“The certification acknowledges Quantum-System’s commitment for supplying cutting-edge technology, while being fully compliant with the complex regulatory framework for UAVs,” the company said in a communiqué.
Unlike most fixed-wing drones, the Trinity F90+ uses three, rather than five rotors – two of which pivot from horizontal to vertical position – considerably reducing its weight and permitting up to 90 minutes of flight time. It was designed for data gathering missions for mapping and surveying purposes by mining, construction, engineering, agriculture, and public service clients.
But the focus Quantum-Systems has placed on continual sophistication of its onboard tech and in-flight computing capabilities has increasingly made the Trinity F90+ appealing to defense and security operators. Earlier this year the company opened the doors of its new unit in the Los Angeles area to keep pace with demand from North American clients using the drone for reconnaissance and other sensitive missions.
Last August the German government placed orders to supply Ukraine with Quantum-System’s Vector drones, several of which were already in use in reconnaissance and other intelligence missions in defense against Russia’s invasion.
The company has been able to kick its craft development and business expansion efforts into higher gear using $32 million in financing it raised earlier this year, as well as another $17.5 million ponied up earlier this month by an additional group of investors.