GE Aviation has long been committed to providing digital solutions and electrical power systems to commercial drone operators and enterprises but a recent development has taken that commitment to a new level. The company announced that they would be teaming with Hybrid Project to provide a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAV designed for high-endurance commercial applications at scale. The agreement is set to provide access to Hybrid Project’s 35-pound hybrid-powered SuperVolo VTOL UAV with a full-stack airborne computing hardware platform, flight and safety management, and integration from GE Aviation and Auterion for various commercial applications. Flight testing of the solution is set to take place in Q4 in 2019 with commercial availability targeted for the first quarter of 2020.
Matt Vacanti, product leader, avionics systems for GE Aviation, mentioned that the combination of Hybrid Project’s SuperVolo airframe, GE Aviation’s computing platform and Auterion’s software stack will enable the creation of a complete drone solution. Vacanti was at Commercial Expo Americas 2019 to discuss this development with attendees, but he made time to showcase this update to the Commercial UAV audience as well. To do so, he was joined by Sauming Seto from Auterion as well as Ryan Pope and Shane Roberts from Hybrid Project. The four of them highlight why this is such a notable development for operators and the drone industry as a whole while also demonstrating how easy it is to assemble the SuperVolo airframe.