Sunday, July 14, 2024

Pyka reveals the world’s largest zero-emission cargo airplane

Oakland-based startup Pyka has unveiled the latest addition to its fleet of purpose-built industrial aircraft; the Pelican Cargo.

The new Pelican Cargo is an adaptation of the plane they developed for crop spraying and could turn out to be a true game changer in the shipping industry. Featuring unprecedented payload and range capabilities, the zero-emission plane is the world’s largest zero-emission cargo airplane and the first autonomous vehicle of its class.

The Pelican Cargo offers a range of up to 200 miles (322 km), a cruise speed of up to 90 knots (148 km/h), and a payload of up to 400 pounds (181 kg) in 66 cubic feet of cargo volume. The 24 ft (6.1 meters) long aircraft has a wingspan of 38 ft (11.5 meters).

The electric airplane features four electric motors, producing 100 kW combined power and a 50 kWh lithium-ion swappable battery. The battery can either be recharged in around one hour or swapped with another charged one when necessary. Added GPS and Laser/Radar based navigation allow for night flying.

The company says its Pelican Cargo platform will enhance express logistics networks, enable connectivity of remote rural communities, and ensure fast and reliable access to vital goods and supplies for areas in need.

“Pelican Cargo will have a significant positive impact on people’s lives,” says Pyka Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder Michael Norcia. “We designed this plane to eliminate CO2 emissions from the logistics chain while offering a significant speed advantage over ground transportation and operating costs at a fraction of conventional air transportation.”

Pyka says it has already secured pre-commitments of over 80 orders and options for its Pelican Cargo from three launch customers across North America and Europe. The aircraft is currently undergoing rigorous testing at Pyka’s flight test facility in Northern California. The first commercial operation of the new product is expected for the second half of 2023.

“We operate a carefully selected fleet of UAS platforms across our markets, each of which has been chosen due to its operational capabilities and unrivaled performance,” says Alex Brown, Director of Skyports Drone Services, one of Pyka’s launch customers for Pelican Cargo. “Welcoming the Pelican Cargo aircraft into our fleet will enable us to continue on our mission of solving complex logistical and operational challenges with tailored drone services. We know a thing or two about drones, and in our eyes, the Pelican Cargo is the most advanced product in its payload class on the market.”