Delivering Oil Samples - Part 2

50kg VTOL, Phoenix Wings, Thai Food and Ice cream

Here we go, off to Munich to embark on our training mission with the Phoenix Wings Orca, a drone with a hefty 15kg payload capacity.

The training experience was a true delight. Sven and his team at Phoenix Wings extended a warm welcome – we indulged in Thai cuisine, sipped tea, and relished ice creams. However, the highlight was delving deep into their system, and let me tell you, it's nothing short of rock-solid.

Flying a 50kg drone at 110km/h in BVLOS isn't a feat for just anyone. Designing and crafting it takes things up another notch.

The Orca, initially appearing as quite the sizable machine with its broad wingspan, multitude of motors, and an abundance of propellers, stole my heart in no time, given my fondness for VTOL.

The aircraft handles itself gracefully, with smooth movements that instill confidence. Adjusting to the noise that comes with piloting a hefty machine takes time, but it's a sound I'm familiar with. What's unfamiliar, however, is not having eyes on my drone during flight, and even worse, focusing on the parameters on my screen while the drone is within visual range.

Thousands of hours of VLOS flight don't fade easily. Typically, I keep my eyes on the drone, observing its flight attitude, behavior, movement fluidity, and so forth. Yet, when practicing BVLOS flight, your gaze remains fixed on the screen. It's quite an uncanny sensation. I suppose IFR pilots experience something similar.

In the end, Stéphane and I conducted a few flights, joined by our client, ADLC. Everything went smoothly, and we gained a few more minutes of BVLOS experience, which is certainly invaluable at this juncture.

Now, we're awaiting ADLC's acquisition of the necessary authorizations to fly this substantial machine in Belgium. Once that's secured, we'll embark on the initial tests within the Port of Antwerp.

To be continued…

Delivering Oil Samples - Part 1
Meeting with ADLC, discovering Phoenix Wings and executing the first POC