Partnership Brings Autonomous Parachute Systems to Heavy-Lift UAVs

A new development agreement will equip Parallel Flight Technologies’ Firefly heavy-lift, long-endurance UAV with the ParaZero parachute system to enable safe, advanced operations By Caroline Rees / 19 May 2023
Partnership Brings Autonomous Parachute Systems to Heavy-Lift UAVs
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Autonomous safety systems provider ParaZero has partnered with heavy-lift drone and hybrid propulsion technology provider, Parallel Flight Technologies, to integrate customized SafeAir parachute safety systems with Parallel Flight Technologies’ flagship heavy-lift, long endurance UAV.

Parallel Flight Technologies’ 122 kg Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW) Firefly UAV has been described as a heavy-lift workhorse for various industrial applications, including wildfire support, medical and disaster logistics, search and rescue, precision agriculture, and renewable use cases. 

The company’s proprietary Parallel Hybrid Electric Multirotor (PHEM) drone technology gives Firefly the ability to carry a 45 kg payload (not including fuel) for up to 100 minutes. According to Parallel Flight, the proprietary IP built into the Firefly allows 10x longer endurance and range over electric drones. 

Firefly’s long flight endurance and payload capabilities make the platform an ideal candidate for flight BVLOS and remote operations. Platforms designed for advanced applications and autonomous missions offer new levels of ROI for customers.

“The Firefly represents a true innovation in the UAS industry, and we have appreciated working with the very talented team at Parallel Flight Technologies,” said ParaZero Director of Business Development & Regulation, Aaron Gliner. “We are committed to helping UAS manufacturers meet performance-based safety and regulatory requirements, enabling a broader array of advanced use cases and applications.”

The Parallel Flight Technologies and ParaZero combination aims to bring one of the safest industrial heavy-lift drones to the market.

ParaZero’s SafeAir is a UAV parachute recovery system that mitigates flight risks autonomously. The SafeAir system is equipped with integrated sensors that continuously monitor and analyze the drone’s flight patterns to identify any indications of a critical failure. When triggered, the SmartAir Pro, ParaZero’s onboard computer, responds with an instantaneous activation of the SafeAir system. The system cuts power to the drone, alerts people on the ground with an audible alarm, and deploys a lightweight parachute, bringing the drone to the ground in a safe, controlled descent.

Equipped with ParaZero’s patented parachute technology, organizations and operators around the world have received regulatory approvals for advanced operations, including autonomous flight BVLOS, operations over people, operations in densely populated areas, and drone delivery, by providing a robust safety solution to mitigate ground risk in the event of an emergency.

“ParaZero’s safety systems are the preferred complement to Firefly’s built-in redundancies and safety features to mitigate ground risk and enable the regulatory permissions we need to operate,” said Parallel Flight CEO, Joshua Resnick. “This integration highlights Parallel Flight’s company-wide commitment to stringent safety and quality measures. Furthermore, this allows Firefly to stand ready in saving lives, property, and the environment, additionally creating value for industrial customers across the globe.”

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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