Team Upgrades COTS VTOL Drones
Congratulations to our team, Tim and Aakash for completing the challenging task of upgrading commercial VTOL drones into capable and highly configurable experimental platforms.
The task at hand included an opportunity for the guys to undertake training to receive remote pilot licences so that they could safely fly this powered VTOL drone which combines the verticality of a multi-rotor with the flight efficiency of a winged aircraft.
During the pilot training the guys were able to gain valuable insight into drone design, as well as operation. Moreover, through Swordfish’s DSTG connection, they were introduced to people who had previously worked with this type of drone. With this additional knowledge, Tim and Aakash were able to account for the drone’s idiosyncrasies and avoid potentially catastrophic crashes.
The upgrade was undertaken over many months, and required the sourcing of specialised parts and writing safety assessments for safe operation. With multiple unguarded carbon fibre blades spinning at over 4500 RPM, and a high lift capacity, safety is paramount. In the final week of hands-on work of soldering, rewiring, and drilling holes to accommodate the new componentry, our caffeine fuelled team upgraded two aircraft ready to enter into experimentation service.
This project was made possible due to the collaborative, integrated defence and industry environment which allows for sovereign industries to work alongside each other and Defence. At Swordfish we work to continuously shape our projects, while also having the autonomy to set our own goals.