Amer­i­flight announced this week a signed let­ter of intent (LOI) to pur­chase 35 VTOL air car­go drones from Sabrew­ing Air­craft Com­pa­ny, reports a press release. The agree­ment is for the Rhaegal‑A air­craft, also known as “Alpha”. Amer­i­flight expects to take deliv­ery fol­low­ing type cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of the craft.

The Rhaegal‑A car­go drone “offers high-effi­cien­cy, all-weath­er oper­a­tion with ver­ti­cal land­ing and take­off (VTOL) capa­bil­i­ties,” explains the release. The pur­chase enables Amer­i­flight to enter into new busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties in dis­tri­b­u­tion cen­tre logis­tics.

The release con­tin­ues, “Using the VTOL capa­bil­i­ties to car­ry over a ton of car­go to off-air­port alter­na­tive land­ing zones, the new car­go air­craft will allow Amer­i­flight to aid cus­tomers in devel­op­ing a faster and more effi­cient ware­house dis­tri­b­u­tion net­work. For Amer­i­flight, this will be a com­ple­men­tary ser­vice, not replac­ing their cur­rent fly­ing oper­a­tion, air­craft, or pilots. The company’s goal is to build diver­si­fied avi­a­tion ser­vices, and this fits well with that vision.”

Alan Rusi­nowitz

Alan Rusi­nowitz, Amer­i­flight Pres­i­dent and COO, com­ment­ed, “Adding this advanced air­craft to our port­fo­lio will com­ple­ment our fleet and increase our assort­ment of assets, allow­ing us to expand our ser­vice areas through the devel­op­ment of ware­house dis­tri­b­u­tion oper­a­tions.” Adding, “With a pay­load capa­bil­i­ty of 2,000+ pounds, the Rhaegal‑A is per­fect­ly suit­ed for the medi­um lift cat­e­go­ry oper­a­tion.”

Ed De Reyes, CEO of Sabrew­ing, remarked, “We’re excit­ed to be at the fore­front of autonomous inno­va­tion and to have Amer­i­flight at our side, with this new agree­ment mark­ing the Alpha’s first Amer­i­can launch cus­tomer.”

He con­tin­ued, “We’re com­mit­ted to devel­op­ing advanced, ver­sa­tile, and effi­cient air car­go solu­tions with our best-in-class Rhae­gal air­craft that max­imise on long range, pay­load capac­i­ty, and sus­tain­able fuel effi­cien­cy to suc­cess­ful­ly deliv­er on a range of car­go mis­sions.”

Sabrewing’s Rhaegal‑A air­craft achieved its first hov­er flight last Sep­tem­ber, while lift­ing a record-set­ting pay­load of 829 pounds. The com­pa­ny is now focus­ing on the aircraft’s pro­duc­tion line, with first deliv­er­ies expect­ed to take place in the first quar­ter of 2024.

The release explains, “Inno­va­tion in design allows the Rhaegal‑A air­craft the abil­i­ty to use sus­tain­able avi­a­tion fuel (SAF) reduc­ing car­bon emis­sions by up to 80 per­cent, while main­tain­ing the effi­cien­cy to fly car­go between facil­i­ties four times faster than can be dri­ven and land in loca­tions oth­er air­craft can­not, elim­i­nat­ing the added cost of air­port trans­fer of car­go.”

This poten­tial sales marks Ameriflight’s sec­ond agree­ment to pur­chase autonomous air­craft after hav­ing signed with Natilus last month on the pur­chase of its Kona air­craft, a 3.8‑ton pay­load, short-haul feed­er uncrewed aer­i­al vehi­cle. Amer­i­flight intends to use both fleet types in tan­dem with their cur­rent oper­a­tion.

For more infor­ma­tion

(Top image: Sabrew­ing Rhaegal‑A Autonomous Car­go Air­craft)