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Bulgaria's Dronamics picks Australia's Quickstep for cargo drone manufacturing

Bulgaria's Dronamics picks Australia's Quickstep for cargo drone manufacturing The Black Swan cargo drone. Image source: Dronamics.

SOFIA (Bulgaria), July 19 (SeeNews) - Bulgarian middle-mile cargo drone manufacturer Dronamics said on Tuesday it is securing a strategic partner in listed Australian aerospace components maker Quickstep Holdings Ltd with a view to ramping up production, targeting first delivery in 2023.

The turnkey services partnership would result in the first Black Swan cargo drone prototype being delivered by Quickstep some time in 2023, with a progressive step-up in production capacity to several hundred units over the next four years, Dronamics said in a press release.

Production will be based at Quickstep's facilities in Australia. The aerospace and defence company has a 16,000 sq m aerospace composite manufacturing plant at Bankstown Airport in Sydney and a Drone Centre of Excellence at Deakin University, Australia’s top carbon fibre and composite research facility, its website shows.

The partnership deal comes after Dronamics in May became the first drone cargo airline to obtain an EU-wide operating licence. The company said at the time it is gearing to run its first commercial flights out of Malta and Italy in late 2022.

"The first strategic manufacturing partnership is a key milestone in our mission to enable same day delivery for everyone, everywhere. As an innovator who is challenging the status quo in cargo mobility, we are thrilled to have the support of an experienced partner like Quickstep to help us realise the full potential of our solution," Dronamics co-founder and chief technology officer, Konstantin Rangelov, said.

The parties, which have inked a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU), are currently in detailed commercial negotiations over a potential binding agreement for engineering and manufacturing services, which is expected to be signed by the end of October, Quickstep said in a separate press release earlier.

The Black Swan can carry cargo of up to 350 kg at a distance of up to 2,500 km, significantly cutting cost, time and carbon emissions for logistic deliveries.