Ameriflight signs deal to purchase Sabrewing Aircraft drones
The agreement is for Alpha, the market's best-in-class cargo UAV with the maximum fuel and maintenance economy. Ameriflight expects to take delivery following a type certification of the aircraft.
Ameriflight, the nation's largest Part 135 Cargo airline, has signed a letter of intent to purchase 35 VTOL air cargo drones from Sabrewing Aircraft Company, Inc., a U.S. corporation that is designing and manufacturing a new generation of regional cargo UAVs with high-efficiency, all-weather operation and vertical landing and takeoff (VTOL) capabilities.
The agreement is for the Rhaegal-A aircraft, commonly known as 'Alpha', the market's best-in-class cargo UAV with the maximum fuel and maintenance economy. Ameriflight expects to take delivery following a type certification of the aircraft.
Ameriflight will be able to penetrate new distribution center logistics markets thanks to the Sabrewing alliance and Rhaegal-A acquisition. The new cargo aircraft will enable Ameriflight to assist clients in building a speedier and more effective warehouse distribution network by utilizing the VTOL capabilities to carry over a ton of freight to off-airport alternative landing zones. This will be an additional service for Ameriflight, not a replacement for their present flying operation, aircraft, or pilots. The company's mission is to offer diversified aviation services, and this fits right in.
“In looking to the future, adding this advanced aircraft to our portfolio will complement our fleet and increase our assortment of assets, allowing us to expand our service areas through the development of warehouse distribution operations,” said Alan Rusinowitz, President and COO, Ameriflight. “With a payload capability of 2,000+ pounds, the Rhaegal-A is perfectly suited for the medium lift category operation. Sabrewing’s record-setting technology guiding Rhaegal-A as the world’s first autonomous cargo aircraft capable of both vertical and conventional take-off is an incredible milestone, and we are excited to partner with them on this new fleet.”
“We’re committed to developing advanced, versatile, and efficient air cargo solutions with our best-in-class Rhaegal aircraft that maximize on long range, payload capacity, and sustainable fuel efficiency to successfully deliver on a range of cargo missions,” explained Ed De Reyes, CEO, Sabrewing. “We’re excited to be at the forefront of autonomous innovation and to have Ameriflight at our side, with this new agreement marking the Alpha’s first American launch customer.”
Sabrewing’s Rhaegal-A aircraft achieved its first hover flight in September 2022 while lifting a record-setting payload of 829 pounds. The company is in the process of initiating the aircraft’s production line, with first deliveries expected to take place in the first quarter of 2024.
Innovation in design allows the Rhaegal-A aircraft the ability to use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) reducing carbon emissions by up to 80%, while maintaining the efficiency to fly cargo between facilities four times faster than can be driven and land in locations other aircraft cannot, eliminating the added cost of airport transfer of cargo. The new fleet will be used to support Ameriflight’s new business opportunities, primarily for its expedited supply chain services.
This marks Ameriflight’s second agreement to purchase autonomous aircraft after having signed with Natilus just last month on the purchase of its Kona aircraft, a 3.8-ton payload, short-haul feeder uncrewed aerial vehicle. Ameriflight intends to use both fleet types in tandem with their current operation.