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Unmanned Cargo Update #1

TECHNOLOGY:

NUUVA-v300 by Pipistrel


Interesting hybrid-electric middle-mile VTOL platform by Slovenian company Pipistrel. We will continue to monitor its performance and see what success it has in the EU market.

INFRASTRUCTURE:

Mitsubishi Electric is creating an open marketplace for drone delivery


Announced at CES 2023. This is an example of one of the many digital information services that will be required when running an uncrewed Part 135 cargo operation. I'll continue to watch this from the side of my eye and hope for the best, but we all know a lot of other drone apps / industry focused digital information services have launched with a splash but were ultimately unsuccessful. Also; regulation, policy, infrastructure and industry (all facets) have a long way to go before this service has users and customers in any significant volume. I'm thinking type cert has to become normal, Part 135 standards have to be revised / tweaked before there is a legitimate "marketplace" for drone delivery services.


BUSINESS:

Drone Logistics and Transportation Market - Global Forecast to 2027


This report demonstrates how middle-mile cargo delivery is an area not yet receiving much attention in the logistics and transportation market. In this article middle-mile is only mentioned as a category and all the Key Players are in the last-mile or transportation sectors of UAS or eVTOL. Relevant to Time On Target Solutions: Demand for Efficient Logistics and Last-Mile Delivery Drives Market (last mile focus). Restraints - Lack of Skilled and Trained Personnel for Operation (If you aren't skilled and trained you wouldn't be on this email distribution. THAT will be Time On Target's value proposition to this market. SKILLED & TRAINED aviators.) Challenges - Lack of Proper Air Traffic Management for Uavs (no matter how much money these operators have, we're all waiting on the same regulation.)


FedEx Plans to Test Autonomous Drone Cargo Delivery With Elroy Air


Older article, new aircraft. This article is almost a year old, and it shows how even deep pockets (FedEx & Elroy Air) cant speed up technology & FAA timelines to meet their press release commitments. Those of you who are not familiar with the Chaparral aircraft, its an hybrid-electric VTOL middle-mile platform that features a detachable cargo pod system. Very impressive and something I am watching closely.


Elroy Air secures more than $2B in aircraft demand and moves to new flight test facility


Fresh article regarding Chaparral orders (Jan 2023) and it looks as if LCI will control the financing and leasing options for the lions share of initial production orders. According to this article it also seems the platform is currently in tie down testing, with flight testing still to go. I don't have any industry experience dealing with LCI. If any readers do or have had dealings with LCI please let us know your thoughts.


Lobo Leasing and Air Taurus sign LOI


Lobo Leasing will control the lease/finance options for the first 15 Pipistrel aircraft, Air Taurus will operate the first five copies. Air Taurus is an interesting air cargo/logistics business out of Ireland focused on large customers or organizations such as the World Food Program, United Nations, NGO's, charities and foundations.


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