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A2Z Drone Delivery upgrades RDSX Pelican delivery drone in move towards U.S. manufacturing

A2Z Drone Delivery Press Release | July 9, 2024

Estimated reading time 6 minutes, 33 seconds.

A2Z Drone Delivery, Inc., developer of commercial drone delivery solutions, has announced an upgrade to its flagship delivery drone, the RDSX Pelican.

The Pelican will now be offered with a more easily modifiable flight controller, enabling customers to more readily integrate their customized flight systems and companion software with the extended range hybrid VTOL delivery drone.

The open-source flight controller also represents an important step in A2Z Drone Delivery’s move towards manufacturing the purpose-built commercial delivery drone in the United States.

A workhorse in any commercial drone fleet, the RDSX Pelican combines the reliability and flight stability of a multirotor craft with the extended range of a fixed-wing airframe. With no control surfaces, the robust-yet-simple design of the Pelican minimizes potential points of failure within the airframe to mitigate maintenance demands and keep the UAV flight-ready longer. Its customizable payload bay can be factory-integrated with the A2Z Drone Delivery RDS2 commercial delivery drone winch to support a variety of logistics operations making deliveries from altitude, or the drone can accommodate customers’ unique payload requirements.

Engineered to operate within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s 55-pound maximum takeoff weight for Part 107 compliance, the Pelican is rated to carry payloads up to five kilograms on operations up to 40 kilometers roundtrip.

The flexibility of the Pelican’s cargo bay makes it an ideal solution for many logistics missions, or deployed with payloads customized for aerial mapping, drone inspection, forestry services, search-and-rescue operations, water sample collection, offshore deliveries, mining, and more.

Expanded Systems Integration

With the RDSX Pelican now operating on the CUAV X7+ or Cube flight controller, users of the flagship drone can now more readily integrate their preferred systems to work with the drone, including their own ground control software, radio beacons, and other companion software systems.

“When we initially released the RDSX Pelican, we designed it to work with a proprietary flight controller, but we’ve found that customers sought expanded flexibility,” said Aaron Zhang, founder and CEO of A2Z Drone Delivery, Inc.

“Moving to the same open-source flight controller that everyone else uses allows customers to utilize A2Z’s own QGC ground control station by default, or integrate their own ground control systems. It also means they can tailor the drone to maximize the open-source PX4 framework with Mission Planner and other commonly used software in our industry.”

Stepping stones toward us manufacturing

The adoption of the open-source flight controller is also an important stepping stone in A2Z Drone Delivery’s development roadmap that will eventually culminate with the RDSX Pelican being optimized for manufacture in the United States.

The company has been diligently iterating on the Pelican to offer one of the best commercial drone delivery platforms on the market, and that pace has often been enabled by readily-available components.

With the more flexible flight controller in place, the company can now proceed towards sourcing comparable components for the RDSX Pelican platform that will enable it to satisfy NDAA compliance, and eventually seek Blue UAS certification with the US Department of Defense’s Defense Innovation Unit.

“Part of our development strategy has always been to bring to market drone delivery solutions that meet tomorrow’s customer needs, which requires rapid iteration,” said Zhang.

“With its regulatory environment that encourages beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) operations and its close proximity to supply chains, our Ground Zero Test Facility in Anji County outside Shanghai, has enabled us to push the boundaries of autonomous drone capabilities. Now that these new commercial delivery drones have been proven safe and effective, we are making preparations to serve demand outside private enterprise operators with versions of the Pelican and the rest of our offerings that are manufactured in the United States.”

RDSX Pelican pricing and availability

With a base model starting price of $29,000, the A2Z Drone Delivery RDSX Pelican can be customized to meet just about any customer mission parameters.

The most popular configuration includes a factory-integrated RDS2 commercial drone winch for deploying and retrieving payloads from a safe altitude where spinning propellers are kept far from people, property and potential obstructions on the ground.

A2Z Drone Delivery can also incorporate a simple servo-release mechanism that boosts the drone’s payload capacity or outfit the airframe with sensor arrays for testing missions, specialty camera systems for aerial inspection, autonomous patrol, and more.

This press release was prepared and distributed by A2Z Drone Delivery.

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