Air cargo company orders 53 Sabrewing heavy-lift drones

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by Emily Atkins

Arabian Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMC) has ordered 53 heavy-lift cargo uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV) from Sabrewing Aircraft Company, Inc.

This September, Sabrewing announced that it had flown its first flight with a record-breaking 829 pound/374 kg payload – the most for any commercial cargo UAV. According to De Reyes, the Rhaegal-A has continued to fly and lift heavy payloads as part of its final development program.

 “We had a phenomenal response to our first flight announcement,” said Ed De Reyes, CEO of Sabrewing. “We are meeting our customers’ requests of carrying large volumes of cargo while lifting heavy payloads of weight.”

ADMC currently has 128 orders for Sabrewing’s Rhaegal-B “Bravo” aircraft, that is capable of lifting 5,400 pounds/2,450 kg vertically and up to 10,000 pounds/4,535 kg conventionally. Both the “Alpha” and “Bravo” models are capable of taking off vertically. They are the only cargo UAV capable of taking off both vertically and conventionally (as a fixed-wing aircraft). 

“Because we already have the molds, hardware, software and avionics from our first aircraft, we’ve completed the majority of the development work on the Alpha model aircraft. We were looking for a launch customer to start production,” De Reyes said. “ADMC found customers who were interested in buying and leasing the cargo UAV. We had an overwhelming response to our first flight, and interest skyrocketed from day one of the announcement.” 

De Reyes added that because the first payload was only about one-third of what the drone can carry, the company knew it was going to attract a lot of customers who have the need to carry a ton or more of cargo in a large cargo bay.

“We are the first launch customer for the Bravo aircraft, ordering 128 of Sabrewing’s Rhaegal-B “Bravo” aircraft valued at over €768 million. We now have a mix of highly versatile aircraft to lease to our African and Middle Eastern customers,” Ayman Zeibak, general manager of ADMC, noted.

“The Sabrewing Alpha is just the right size for some of the smaller air cargo companies who don’t have contracts with FedEx, DHL or another major carrier, but have the need to carry 1000 kilos of bulk cargo to remote locations on a regular basis.”

This launch order represents an additional €260 million in revenue for Sabrewing, as well as the launch of an additional product line. De Reyes also said that they expect to begin delivering the first Alpha models for type certification testing by the beginning of the 3rd quarter of 2023.