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Aero-TV At AUVSI2021: Parallel Flight Technologies

Parallel Flight Technologies’ Prius of the Skies…Loads Up On Range And Endurance

Halfway through AUVSI2021, Joshua Resnick, CEO of Parallel Flight Technologies caught our attention earlier when he talked about duration and hybrid propulsion system, so we dug a little deeper.

Mr. Resnick said Parallel Flight Technologies (PFT) has been building heavy-lift long-range long-duration autonomous systems using proprietary technology, their “hybrid power module”.  The modules (located at each corner of the aircraft) uniquely combine gas and electric power sources, using PFT’s controller to operate in harmony. Mr. Resnick added that “it’s also a redundant system so, if there’s a failure on any one component of the powertrain, the prop can keep spinning!  The only failure that will knock it out of the sky is if there is a total prop failure, so we’ve designed it with the capability of carrying its payload even with a single module failure.”

When asked of the typical use-case (mission profile) for such a device, Mr. Resnick stated that there are missions and then there are verticals. The three verticals they’re working closely with are wildfire, industrial logistics, and medical delivery.  For wildfire, there are two key missions: 1) prescribed burns (delivering an incendiary payload to start a fire for a backburn) for land management, and 2) delivering critical supplies to the firefighters in the field.  He added that PFT is not engaged in direct fire suppression at this time, but it is in their plans. The industry has told us that on the logistics side, there are several use cases, the largest of which is delivering supplies to the top of wind turbines (to accelerate the maintenance process), there is a demand for agricultural applications, and so on, but we're trying to stay focused on the high-traction opportunities.

To the question of whether PFT is currently deploying to the field, Mr. Resnick responded that PFT is still in testing, they have a few aircraft (like the one at the Expo) which was taken out of testing for the show, and will be going right back, then into the range for more testing.  He excitedly shared that he was nervous conducting his first flight (months of team effort expended) but was impressed with its maneuverability. PFT is looking forward to exploring the edges of the performance capabilities so their “customers know exactly what conditions they can fly under and exactly what kind of payload requirements and balance and all of those things.”

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 5000 aviation and feature programs, including nearly 2000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, currently hosted by Holland Lee. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published nearly a half-million news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

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