WCS17: Cutting edge technology

Hair today, gone tomorrow. Svilen Rangelov of Dronamics is promising to shave off a flowing beard when his company’s first cargo drone ‘car’ is ready to fly, by the end of 2017.
The Bulgarian entrepreneur and his equally bearded brother vowed to forsake the facial razor 2.5 years ago when they launched Dronamics.
Svilen Rangelov, addressing an innovation forum pre-event at IATA’s World Cargo Symposium in Abu Dhabi, said: “Cars are great but don’t go everywhere, so what if we can make a car that flies but remove the driver, in essence create a small airplane that flies and can also carry whatever you can put in a car.”
The idea, based on the brothers’ experience in Bulgaria, is to be able to reach smaller communities, economically and without the need for major infrastructure investment.
“This is the concept we are working on and we hope it will fly around 2,500 km and is also cheaper than other forms of transportation.”
He added: “The more difficult part is not how to produce one of these aircraft but how to produce thousands upon thousands, because the most produced aircraft of all time was the Cessna172, with 43,000 units in 65 years, but a car company makes that many in as little as two weeks in one of its factories.”
“And if we think of ourselves as a new type of car then we need to source a lot of that knowhow and to produce it with fewer parts and more modular.”
In terms of investment, Rangelov said that one of the difficulties is that innovators are “fighting against the status quo and the onus is on us to prove that we are better and cheaper than what is available”.

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