Massachusetts-based Ascent AeroSystems, a manufacturer of compact, all-weather, high-performance coaxial unmanned aerial systems, introduced a new vehicle platform designed specifically for material transport in real-world operating environments.
"The NX30 is the ultimate platform for airborne material transport using UAVs," said Peter Fuchs, Ascent AeroSystems' CEO. "With a demonstrated ability to carry a 5-pound payload over 12 miles and back again, in any weather, with reserves, it can fly farther and carry more than other multirotors. It offers the performance and the reliability that's needed to support complex delivery operations at scale."
Using the same approach as major aircraft OEMs, the NX30 is offered as a platform that's adaptable to the unique requirements of network operators.
"There's a reason why airlines don't design and make their own aircraft," continued David Moro, head of vehicle design. "It's really hard, and expertise in aerodynamics and airframe design isn't relevant to the operation of a logistics network. A platform like the NX30 allows operators to focus their investment and their time on what they're good at…designing and managing an efficient and reliable delivery network. That's ultimately what their customers are paying for."
The NX30 can be optimized to a wide range of delivery operations, including specific payload dimensions, performance, communications equipment, even package delivery methods. Initial deliveries to an undisclosed customer occurred in December of 2021. "Our launch customer needed more payload and less endurance," added Paul Fermo, VP of business development. "We were able to meet and even exceed their requirements."
Like Ascent AeroSystems' existing Spirit platform, the NX30's compact cylindrical form factor reduces the airframe to an absolute minimum and makes it easier to store, launch, recover and reset. These benefits will become critically important as the automation of UAV networks increase.
Ascent has released the NX specifications, performance and pricing. Available for demonstration now, initial deliveries will begin by year end.