SKYF showed off its unique new unmanned cargo vehicle, capable of carrying cargos of up to 400 kg, at a testing ground in Kazan, southwest Russia on Thursday; with a payload of 50 kg, the drone can fly a distance of 350 km at a speed of up to 75 km per hour.
The computer-controlled multiuse drone is suitable for a variety of applications, including cargo delivery and agriculture. The first five production model SKYF drones are set to be start operating over the fields of Tatarstan, Russia in 2019 as field sprayers. By 2020, another 100 of these 'flying tractors' will be built.
SKYF has calculated that the cost of a flight hour of its heavy drone is 5-10 times below that of a helicopter, with a fuel use rate of 30 liters per hour. What's more, the drone uses ordinary gasoline, rather than more expensive aviation fuel, and is powered by an engine built by Russian automotive maker AvtoVAZ, making maintenance easier and cheaper.
The company expects their drone to have significant export potential as a simple, capacious, multipurpose drone. With versions of the drone being developed for taiga and desert use in extreme temperatures, several European countries, Turkey, Saudi Arabia Vietnam, Japan and Sweden have expressed interest in the $225,000 apiece machine.