Innovative European enterprise drone company FIXAR is continuing its global business expansion with an entry into Brazil’s robust beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) services market, partnering with local aviation company Helisul Aviação to do so.
Latvia-based FIXAR said the link-up will allow it to serve business clients in Brazil with Helisul overseeing the import, sales, and operation of its 007 drones. That hybrid fixed-wing craft’s capacities for extended missions are expected to be a valuable asset to a broad range of Brazilian companies whose BVLOS surveying, remote sensing, and surveillance missions often cover large expanses of terrain.
Extended BVLOS performance of the drone, FIXAR believes, will be particularly attractive to companies in Brazil’s booming agriculture, mining, infrastructure inspection, and offshore platform service sectors, whose data gathering or transport missions across wide areas will benefit from longer operations.
FIXAR says the 007 is capable of 60 kilometers of flight carrying a two kg payload up to an hour at speeds of 20 m/s. That velocity, it says, is about 30% faster than competing craft, enabling not only quicker data collection results, but coverage of over wider areas than rivals during each mission.
The FIXAR 007 features a unique, eye-catching design that positions its four rotors so they don’t require pivoting to enable transition from vertical takeoff to forward flight as other fixed-wing craft do.
That allows for fast and easy takeoffs and landings on any terrain – without parachutes, catapults, or other accessories that most fixed-wing craft need – and prolonged mission distances with greater speed and efficiency that the fixed-wing design affords.
FIXAR’s director of global expansion, Yulia Druzhnikova, says the company’s pairing with Helisul will now allow Brazilian clients to benefit from the 007’s enhanced performances, as well as the training and maintenance services its partner provides. It will also lay the groundwork for planned expansion to other nations in the region.
“Helisul, with its 50-year experience in aviation, offers everything FIXAR needs for expansion in the Latin American region,” says Druzhnikova. “We are happy to contribute FIXAR’s VTOL drones, designed for advanced missions in challenging environments, to unleash the full potential of the Latin American drone market, and increase safety and efficiency.”
Initially Helisul will orchestrate sales and, as clients request, operation in Brazil of FIXAR’s 007 drone. It is also expected to add the even higher-performing 025 UAV to its offer after FIXAR introduced it later this year. The 025 is being produced to carry up to 10 kgs of payload, and fly as much as 300 km per mission. In addition to even longer BVLOS flights and more efficient results those will offer, FIXAR says the 025 will share the 007’s considerable ruggedness.
Last year the 007 performed a 19.8 km mapping mission in irregular mountain terrain at elevations of up to 6,115 meters and in temperatures that fluctuated between to 5°C and -20°C. Druzhnikova says that makes FIXAR drones the only UAVs on the market capable operating at over 6,000 meters of altitude, and able to resist geomagnetic fields due to compass absence.
While flying conditions aren’t expected to be that exacting in Brazil, Lucas Fontoura, head of Helisul’s drone division, says one of the reasons FIXAR selected the company was for its history of doing work with – and gaining authorization for – drones operating in exceptional circumstances.
“As it considered Brazilian partners, FIXAR… appreciated our experience and unparalleled ability in obtaining certification of drones used, and authorization to fly missions above 400 feet from the National Civil Aviation Agency,” Fontoura said – a Helisul talent that will be of use to clients inspecting elevated infrastructure and off-shore assets. “(FIXAR also) recognized Helisul’s reputation for safety, quality, and technology in the aviation market.”