With successful testing of the company’s beta-version now concluded, the resulting GRIFF 2.0 Master Design is a world first – the only all-metal drone built to commercial aircraft standards.
CEO Leif Johan Holand said that the UAS – capable of carrying payloads of up to 150kg (331lb) – exemplified the GRIFF Aviation approach to innovation. He said: ‘If you want to create something new, you must start from the very beginning and pick a different path than everybody else. That’s exactly what we’ve done with the GRIFF 2.0 Master Design.
‘With an uncompromising approach to quality, design, engineering and performance, we have redefined what Unmanned Aerial Systems are all about. This is not merely evolution – it’s a revolution.’
The GRIFF 2.0 Master Design has been fully designed from the ground up. Mr Holand describes the company’s focus on reducing the number of parts as well as weight as ‘an obsession’. He explains: ‘While the rest of the industry cuts carbon tubes and sheets, assembling hundreds of standard parts to get airborne, our thinking was radically different. We believe that more parts in an assembly mean an increased chance of failure. They also add a tremendous amount of weight closely followed by a loss in performance.
By contrast, we have machined sophisticated, complex structures with extreme precision out of large, solid pieces of still lightweight aluminium using state-of-the-art CNC technology.
Despite its metal construction, the GRIFF 2.0 Master Design is light, strong and extremely compact.
Another significant modification is the introduction of the four-arm array, rather than the original eight arms. Extensive testing has shown the four-arm configuration to provide optimal performance.
Mr Holand, speaking from the company’s global headquarters in Sykkylven, Norway, added: ‘In close cooperation with the Civil Aviation Authority in Norway, we have worked incredibly hard and put our heart in soul into this project to secure our clients the safest, most efficient and reliable UAS possible.’
GRIFF Aviation’s Technical Manager, Hans Petter Førde, said the new version featured a number of enhancements over the original design. He said: ‘Flexibility is paramount. We have made this new GRIFF as multipurpose as possible; one drone will be able to do several different jobs during the same day.
‘Changing the payload will only take seconds. Sensors in each end of the drone can also quickly be changed – this could be a standard camera, a night vision camera or a thermal imaging camera, depending on mission requirements. Swapping these out is swift and easy.
‘On the inside, we made room for a large cargo bay where the avionics systems and third-party equipment is completely shielded from the power electronics – this increases reliability and safety. Battery swapping is also extremely fast and hassle-free, without the need for tools. All of these factors contribute to greatly increased uptime.
‘We’ve kept ease-of-use for our clients well to the fore.’