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FARNBOROUGH, UK: July 17, 2018. Drone manufacturer and IATA partner Dronamics has completed a four-month test flight of its Black Swan unmanned aircraft test flight programme.

The Black Swan is a cargo drone developed by Dronamics that can transport 350 kgs over 2,500 kilometers at a cost that is 50 to 80 percent lower than with traditional cargo aircraft.

The company plans to build a full-scale prototype by 2019 and start operating mass-produced aircraft in 2020.Dronamics 2

Founded by the Rangelov brothers - Konstantin and Svilen - the company aims to enable denser and better-optimised domestic networks in emerging markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, where rising air cargo demand is powered by rapid e-commerce growth.

Able to fly autonomously, the Black Swan can be monitored and managed remotely via satellite, and the whole system costs less than a sports car. The aircraft is capable of taking off and landing from very small and unpaved airstrips, making it indispensable in regions where road conditions and geography may prohibit timely and inexpensive ground transportation.

“Cargo, especially e-commerce, with its lower density, is underserved by existing airframes, which were almost always being designed with passengers in mind,” said CTO Konstantin Rangelov.

“So very early on we decided if we really want to make flights as cheap as possible, we need to start with a clean-sheet design, and completely rethink how airplanes are built. What’s unique about the Black Swan is that it’s a design specifically optimized for cargo, and in particular - high-frequency domestic flights carrying bulkier but lighter items like e- commerce,” he added.

“We see unmanned technology playing a growing role in air cargo going forward,” commented Glyn Hughes, IATA head of Cargo. “Innovations like this are just what our industry needs in order to adapt to the growing force of e-commerce and customer demands for shorter delivery times and lower costs.”

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