South Korea-based Narma, an unmanned aerial vehicle spinoff division of the Korean Aerospace Research Institute, has developed two tilt-rotor drones and plans to bring them to the United States.
Narma is working with a partner in Florida for Part 135 certification of its drones in the U.S., the company told Cargo Facts.
The company’s AF100 and AF200 drones have already achieved other certifications required for sale in South Korea, the European Union and the U.S.
The AF100 and AF200 will be licensed under Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations, which will require around two years of work, Narma told Cargo Facts.
A medical emergency response variant of the AF100 drone called the AF100-AED and an AF100 police variant recently were purchased by Daejeon, South Korea, for its “smart city” project.
Narma said the AF100-AED was first installed in a senior citizens hall in South Korea to deliver automated external defibrillators within a five-kilometer range in three minutes.
The larger AF200 drone has earned orders from aerospace companies such as Elevon and Saformar, as well as telecommunications company SK Planet, according to Narma.
Both the AF100 and AF200 use tilt-rotor technology, whereby the engine nacelle rotates between conventional flight and vertical take-off and landing modes.
The AF100 has a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 7 kilograms, with a 1.1-kilogram max payload and a 10.7-nautical-mile range with payload, achieving cruising speeds of 42 knots.
The AF200 can carry up to 5 kilograms with a 22 kg MTOW, covering a 21.5-nautical-mile range at 38.8 knots.
Medical use continues to fuel the development of the cargo drone industry. Other companies are also developing drones to deliver medical supplies.
Rigi Technologies’ Eiger drone has achieved certification for its safety systems and control mechanism, and is expected to receive additional certifications for expanded operations in the next two to three years. The company is targeting the Eiger for medical use and has developed it to carry a payload capacity of 2.5 kilograms over ranges of up to 100 kilometers.
Israeli startup Gadfin entered a five-year agreement with medical logistics company Sarel to begin delivery services to eleven hospitals in Israel using its drone which is capable of delivering 5 kilograms of payload at speeds of up to 53 knots.
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