Volansi, an autonomous VTOL UAV manufacturing and cargo delivery services company, announced this week it has received the Airmanship Special Award from the African Drone Forum for its outstanding participation and operational excellence in the Lake Kivu Challenge unmanned aerial vehicle flying competitions, reports suasnews.com.
The Lake Kivu Challenge was part of the 2020 African Drone Forum held in Rwanda in February. A collaboration between the Government of Rwanda, the UKs Department for International Development (DFID/UKAID), and the World Bank Group, the Forum and Challenge aimed to showcase real-world use cases for autonomous drone delivery across Africa.
The Challenge received more than 70 applications from drone companies headquartered in 35 countries, with the top ten finalists invited to put their drones and operators to the test through real-life scenarios at Lake Kivu in Western Rwanda.
“We see Airmanship as a multi-dimensional concept and a mindset that every member of our team strives to embody every day,” said Volansi CEO and Co-Founder, Hannan Parvizian. “We are honored to receive the Airmanship Award from the African Drone Forum organizers and see it as another validation of our ability to continue to transform the way critical goods are transported to the places they are needed most.”
As part of the flying competition, participants underwent rigorous scrutineering of their safety practices, training standards, maintenance procedures, risk mitigation, and concepts of operation. All areas that Volansi excels in.
“Our team was able to leverage the experience we have from our on-going, operational projects already occurring in Africa and elsewhere,” said Mike Jackson, Director of Flight Operations at Volansi and recently retired US Air Force Special Operations Colonel. “That ability to scale over and over is our differentiator. We have operational standards and procedures already in place, which is important for disciplined and professional aviation operations- especially ones that rely on automated flight.”
In addition to having experience within the region and award-winning operational practices, Volansi’s UAVs are uniquely suited to the complicated terrain of Africa due to the hybrid flight system employed in their design that combines electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) with a fixed-wing, “pusher”-driven forward flight mode. This enables Volansi’s drones to complete complex, two-way missions with minimal to zero infrastructure needs. Because the drones fully land at the delivery point, they can deliver and return cargo such as samples for analysis and diagnosis, or parts for repair.
Moving forward, Volansi seeks to continue commercial and humanitarian projects in Africa, with the long-term vision of collaborating with local governments and communities to build the first interconnected delivery drone network within the continent.
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