Next gen drone unveiled by GADFIN

30 November 2021

Israeli companies develop very advanced drones that can play a very important role in homeland security and disaster operations.

The most recent system that was unveiled was developed by GADFIN. The company says that it’s Spirit One drone is the next generation of drone technology, enabling, for the first time, a fully autonomous drone delivery network, based on its record-breaking long range eVTOLs.

According to the company it is offering the world, for the very first time, a 25Kg MTOW category electrical Vertical Take-Off and Landing (e-VTOL) unmanned air-vehicle with a flight range of more than 250 km (155 miles). Its flight range, which is further multiplied through automated ground maintenance stations that can perform an autonomous ground cycle and relaunch the drone, makes it the optimal solution for cost-effective supply of healthcare services and devices to all corners of the globe.  Flying at 100 km/h (93 mph) based on a clean hydrogen electric energy supply, unique patents in aerodynamics, and patented folding wings, the Spirit One flies farther, faster, more quietly and more safely than any other e-VTOL in its category. Moreover, it sets a new safety standard through multiple backup and security systems.

The Gadfin autonomous long-range service – a fully autonomous B2B aerial delivery system that can create a physical internet between warehouses, hospitals and clinics around the world with a 24/7 AI managed grid, to supply on-demand delivery in a super-fast and cost-effective manner – will revolutionize the logistics supply chain and connect peripheral areas to city centers, making critical goods available everywhere. Its novel folding wings technology allows the UAV to adapt its flight mode, allowing optimal Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL), as well as traditional fixed wing flight, according to the most desirable mode of flight under the specific circumstances.

Eyal Regev, GADFIN's CEO, explains: "With wings in the folded position and smaller footprint, only a small landing area is required, maneuverability is enhanced, and side winds are overcome. This allows the Spirit One to operate in urban settings as well as in other challenging operations, such as landing on marine vessels, ocean rigs, and buildings. When the Spirit-One reaches altitude and is ready for horizontal flight, it spreads it wings and flies long distances with great energy efficiency.”

The company is also currently developing a larger aircraft able to carry up to 100 kg (220 lbs.) for longer distances. The Gadfin Spirit-X is a ramped-up version of the Spirit One and is currently under development. Spirit-X is designed for a longer flight time – more than 500 km (310 miles), at 150 km (93 miles) an hour – and a higher maximum payload, all while maintaining e-VTOL capabilities and zero harmful emissions.

The company says that the fully electric platform uses both high density LiPo batteries as well as energy-rich hydrogen fuel cells. This highly efficient combination, together with GADFIN’s proprietary power-distribution module, allows drones to fly further for longer intervals. With an IP65 rating (eVTOL's are water- and dust-resistant) and a combination of mechanical engineering and material technologies, GADFIN’s eVTOLs to operate under all normal conditions, including dust, rain, and wind.

The company says that its ground maintenance station is the first of its kind, and is fully automatic, allowing for complete unmanned operation of the Spirit One and Spirit-X long-range UAVs, including package handling and power system management.

Arie Egozi is a defence writer based in Israel.