Issue 40 Unmanned Systems Technology October/November 2021 ANYbotics ANYmal D l AI systems focus l Aquatic Drones Phoenix 5 l Space vehicles insight l Sky Eye Rapier X-25 l FlyingBasket FB3 l GCS focus l AUVSI Xponential 2021

70 I f the potential of cargo delivery UAVs in niche markets is to be realised then vehicles need to be developed that will do the job better than anything else. Italian company FlyingBasket believes it has found such a niche in the precise delivery of loads up to 100 kg in support of industries such as telecoms, energy distribution and forestry, where the terrain is challenging – particularly in mountainous areas – and in safety- critical circumstances. Started in 2015 by brothers Moritz and Matthias Moroder after watching a helicopter deliver food to a mountain shelter in the Dolomites, FlyingBasket is now performing commercial/proof- of-concept operations after having completed hundreds of test flights using a fully electric, remotely piloted octocopter of their own design. The aircraft is the FB3, which is designed to form the basis of a safe and reliable service while minimising noise and eliminating the environmental damage associated with downwash and exhaust fumes. From 2015 on, in classic start-up fashion, the Moroder brothers initially worked in their garage to develop the UAV and refine their ideas for the services it would provide. “When we began building the first prototypes in our garage, we had already started to recognise the importance of working with aviation authorities,” the Moroders say. “That helped us to keep up with the regulations while developing a reliable product, and also opened up new possibilities for the refinement of our drone operations and commercial services.” Expanding commercial operations The FB3’s first commercial operation took place last summer, after the company received its commercial flights permit from the ENAC, Italy’s civil aviation authority. Inspired by that helicopter in the Dolomites, the FB3 delivered food, water and other supplies to a mountain shelter in South Tyrol, offering a service taking cargo to shelters and restaurants in Delivering cargo to mountainous regions comes with special challenges, which this UAV is designed to overcome. Peter Donaldson reports Peak condition October/November 2021 | Unmanned Systems Technology