World’s Largest Autonomous Electric Cargo Aircraft Unveiled

Pyka’s Pelican Cargo platform has a range of up to 200 miles, a payload of up to 400 pounds in 66 cubic feet of cargo volume, and a nose-loading system with a sliding cargo tray By Caroline Rees / 02 Feb 2023
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Autonomous electric aviation technology company Pyka has unveiled the latest addition to its fleet of purpose-built industrial aircraft; the Pelican Cargo. 

Featuring unprecedented payload and range capabilities, Pyka claims that Pelican Cargo is the world’s largest zero-emission cargo airplane and the first autonomous vehicle of its class. 

With a range of up to 200 miles, a payload of up to 400 pounds in 66 cubic feet of cargo volume, and a nose-loading system with a sliding cargo tray, Pyka believes its Pelican Cargo platform will enhance express logistics networks, enable connectivity of remote rural communities, and ensure fast and reliable access to vital goods and supplies for areas in need. 

“Pelican Cargo will have a significant positive impact on people’s lives,” said Pyka Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Michael Norcia. “We designed this plane to eliminate CO2 emissions from the logistics chain, while offering a significant speed advantage over ground transportation and operating costs at a fraction of conventional air transportation.” 


Following the commercial success of its agricultural spray aircraft, which led to a $37 million Series A raise in April 2022, Pyka has secured pre-commitments of over 80 orders and options for its Pelican Cargo from three launch customers across North America and Europe. The aircraft is currently undergoing rigorous testing at Pyka’s flight test facility in Northern California. The first commercial operation of the new product is expected for the second half of 2023.

“We operate a carefully selected fleet of UAS platforms across our markets, each of which has been chosen due to its operational capabilities and unrivaled performance,” said Alex Brown, Director, Skyports Drone Services, one of Pyka’s launch customers for Pelican Cargo. “Welcoming the Pelican Cargo aircraft into our fleet will enable us to continue on our mission of solving complex logistical and operational challenges with tailored drone services. We know a thing or two about drones and in our eyes, the Pelican Cargo is the most advanced product in its payload class on the market. We’re excited to kickstart operations with Pyka and put the Pelican through its paces.”

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Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact