UAV Airbus Skyways drone completes first shore-to-ship delivery

Airbus has successfully completed the first shore-to-ship delivery of its Skyways drone

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In Singapore, aerospace giant Airbus has completed the first shore-to-ship delivery by its drone Skyways. This marks the first time drone technology has been deployed in real port conditions, stated the manufacturer. It is another milestone in the manufacturer´s Skyways project.

The maiden delivery flight was performed to the Swire Pacific Offshore´s Anchor Handling Tug Supply vessel “M/V Pacific Centurion”. The ship was 1.5 km away from the shoreline of Singapore´s Marina South Pier. Skyways carried 1.5 kg of 3D printed consumables.

Only 10 minutes were needed for Skyways to fly to the ship deck, land, deposit its cargo to the shipmaster and to return to its base. This maiden flight is part of several trials that are being undertaken with partner Wilhelmsen Ships Services. In the upcoming flight tests, the companies will try using the drone´s payload capability of up to 4 kg. Skyways can fly to vessels as far as 3 km from the coast.

Airbus’ Skyways lead, Leo Jeoh, commented: “We are thrilled to launch the first trial of its kind in the maritime world. Today’s accomplishment is a culmination of months of intense preparation by our dedicated team, and the strong collaboration with our partner, as we pursue a new terrain in the maritime industry.”

Marius Johansen, Vice President Commercial, Ships Agency at Wilhelmsen Ships Services added: “The now proven, seamless operation of drone deliveries from shore to ship, in one of the world’s busiest ports proves the hard work, investment and faith we, and indeed our partners, placed in the Agency by Air project over the past two years was not misplaced.”

The first flight of Skyways is another step for Airbus in its urban air mobility endeavour. The company keeps exploring and seeking what it takes to fly reliable autonomous vehicles in different geographical areas.

In a statement, Airbus underlined the benefits of UAS in the maritime industry: “The use of unmanned aircraft systems in the maritime industry paves the way for possible enlargement of existing ship agency services’ portfolio, speeding up deliveries by up to six times, lowering delivery costs by up to 90%, reducing carbon footprint, and significantly mitigating risks of accidents associated with launch-boat deliveries.”

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