Xer Technologies, a producer of heavy-duty multirotor UAVs with long flight times and large payload capability, partnered with Coptrz, a commercial drone provider, to distribute Xer’s X8 UAS in the UK.

Launched in late 2022, the X8 UAS is a versatile, hybrid-electric, and heavy-duty drone platform. Designed for inspection, public safety, and search and rescue applications, the drone can carry up to 7 kg payloads and handle adverse weather and winds easily. In the most demanding conditions, such as under winds up to 35 knots, at -4ºF, and 1000+ meters above sea level (flights conducted up to 2700m air density), Xer confirmed that the X8 can carry a 3kg payload and fly for 2.5+ hours.

Specifically designed to support complex BVLOS missions, the X8 has a provision for LTE or SATCOM C2 link integration to enable low-altitude operations over long distances. It also integrates five front/side laser range sensors, an additional ground radar sensor into the flight controller, a transponder with ADS-B out/in (Automatic Dependent Surveillance) capabilities, and a GNSS receiver to reduce ground and air collision risks. Additionally, the X8 can carry a wide range of different sensors and multiple heavy payloads, including high-definition cameras, multispectral sensors, lidar, IR sensors, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), sonars, gas detection (OGI), and more.

This new partnership will give Xer quick access to the UK market through Coptrz, which has grown from a 2016 start-up to a $32M turnover business. “As part of our 360º drone solution offering, we work hard to build the right partnerships, with the right manufacturers at the right time. The quality of drones offered by Xer is second to none and offers the opportunity for growth across UK and European markets,” said Paul Luen, CEO and founder of Coptrz. “We are thrilled to be working with the team to capitalize on this growth potential and to further strengthen our reputation as being the UK’s home of the latest drone technology.”

Earlier this year, Yellowscan, a manufacturer of UAV lidar systems, certified Xer’s X8 for lidar missions, opening up the door towards cost-effective high-end and long-distance Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) infrastructure inspection including powerlines, railroads, and pipelines. In September 2023, Phase One, a provider of manned and unmanned airborne camera solutions, also certified the X8. This allows inspection companies, drone service providers, and asset owners to acquire high-resolution images from long-endurance autonomous flight operations, significantly reducing inspection acquisition time and costs.

Xer’s future R&D plans include the development of an aircraft with an even heavier lifting capability than the X8, not for urban air transport but for large-scale aerial logistics. Kristofer Skantze, CEO at Xer, believes the competencies accumulated until now make prototyping a UAV with a payload capacity of about 200kg a straightforward task.

“My vision is to have drone pods with automated refueling along a troublesome coastline so that maritime rescue organizations can remotely launch one of our UAVs to fly out and survey for lost sailors or refugees with some kind of wide-area maritime surveillance payload,” Skantze commented.