The developer of an unmanned air vehicle that offers pay-by-the-hour aerial surveillance to owners of valuable remote infrastructure such as pipelines or railways is keen to secure its first customer at Farnborough.

The SkyX system comprises a 10kg (22lb) vertical take-off and landing aircraft, the SkyOne, with a 1kg payload, and an endurance of 80min or 54nm (100km) on a single charge, together with remote charging stations, and an operating system that allows the UAV to be flown "virtually anywhere on Earth there's a cellular signal".

Didi Horn, a former air force captain and drone pilot, who founded the Canada-based start-up, says the system can record 35,000 images in a single flight, providing an "actionable report just after landing". An increasing number of owners of long-distance assets do not want to operate their own surveillance systems, but prefer to simply buy data that helps them secure their property, he says.

Although the company, which is exhibiting on the Ontario pavilion, does not yet have any clients, Horn says: "We are dealing with four or five good prospects and are close to securing a deal, but every day we are getting contacted."

SkyX recently carried out a 55nm beyond-line-of-sight flight in Mexico, programmed and initiated from its headquarters in Toronto.

The company is developing a second version of the system, called SkyTwo, that Horn says will "have an almost doubling of specs".

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Source: Flight Daily News