The Volanti from Sydney-based Carbonix is a carbon composite drone with a 2.7-m (9-ft) wingspan that uses a multirotor system for VTOL, then transitions to horizontal flight as a push-prop fixed-wing once in the air. It flies for over two hours on electric power or seven with a gas pusher, and Carbonix hopes it will fill the industrial-grade niche in between hobby and military UAV gear.
The UAV business is currently a world of extremes. At one end, you’ve got hobby-grade consumer gear, which has improved dramatically in the last couple of years, but at the end of the day, there’s no standard of reliability.
At the other end, you’ve got the military gear – tough, rugged, dependable to a life and death level under all sorts of conditions, but it carries the kind of price tag you can only really come at with government tax money.
There are no real standards for industrial-grade drones yet, but it’s a continually growing market as all sorts of companies in all sorts of areas start to discover the power and potential of unmanned aerial systems.