First North-listed CybAero, which develops and markets unmanned helicopters, has performed demo flights on location for its major Chinese customer AVIC, which signed a framework agreement with CybAero this summer with an order value of SEK 700-800 million. The demo flights were performed in July and August in China and presented the aircraft’s ability to inspect power lines and track moving objects.
“This is a milestone for us in the work we’ve put into the AVIC order, and yet another step in our growth and expansion,” says Mikael Hult, CEO of CybAero. The now-complete demo flights were performed at various times in July and August at two different locations outside Beijing. AVIC, one of the largest companies in the world and whose operations include developing and producing aircraft, invited numerous high-ranking individuals from government authorities, as well as from the energy sector and business community. CybAero had a demo team on-site, as well as representatives from its management and board of directors. The demo flights demonstrated features including the ability to inspect power lines and track moving objects. Video info was shown in real time from the aircraft’s camera and the system’s ground station was displayed on large monitors.
“The weather conditions were challenging, with 35-degree Celsius heat and strong winds. But the helicopter functioned just as it was supposed to, so we were able to show that it could fly in tough conditions,” says Mikael Hult. Hult is extremely pleased with these demo flights, which highlighted the aircraft’s functionality and maneuvering capabilities. “Being on-site allowed us to discuss our customer’s requirements in greater detail and AVIC has initiated talks and negotiations with potential customers,” says Mikael Hult.
In early July, CybAero won a large framework agreement with AVIC, which has committed to purchase at least 20 helicopter systems in the first three years, followed by at least 50 systems in the next five years. This translates to an order value of SEK 700-800 million, depending on the final design of the systems. Work on the order has begun. CybAero received an end user certificate from AVIC on September 5 and has initiated the application process for an export license from ISP (the Swedish Agency for Non-Proliferation and Export Controls). AVIC plans to focus on the civilian and commercial markets, such as agriculture, coast guards, the energy sector, mining industry, forest products industry and fire & rescue services. News of the order made a huge splash both in Sweden and abroad, with national Chinese TV channel CCTV7 doing a 3-minute feature on CybAero’s product APID 60 in late July.
In the fall, CybAero will continue performing demo flights around the world. “Intensifying our on-location demo flights for our customers and showing them how our systems function in the environments in which they will later be operating is a crucial step for us,” says Mikael Hult.