Drones

Avy goes to Rwanda: Emergency Delivery Challenge

The Avy team heads down to Rwanda in preparation for the Lake Kivu Challenge. They recount the days leading up to the flight of the Avy Aera wing drone performing a BVLOS flight, to deliver an emergency package of 1,5kg.

7

February

2020

Manon Taylor

Marketing & Communications

,

Avy

Avy goes to Rwanda

Last week the Avy team landed in Kigali, Rwanda in preparation for the Lake Kivu Challenge that will take place on the 9th until the 14th of February, as part of the African Drone Forum. 

The team representing Avy down in Rwanda all have critical roles and in a snippet they are: 

In addition to this awesome team, Auterion our software partner, sent Roman, a software and controls engineer to support our BVLOS flights. He was in fact one of the original programmers for the first VTOL code for PX4!

Landing in Rwanda 

The last few days have been a wild one for Avy, full of new experiences and insights. The team has had to quickly learn to be a professional drone operator in the real world, and this does come with logistical hell - shipping batteries that are way too high in voltage and that need to get through customs clearance. 

However, once the batteries had safely arrived in Karongi, the team was ready to fly, and it quickly became clear that the hard work put in the past few months had definitely paid off: being a fully licensed operator in the Netherlands, mandatory internal training programmes and maintenance procedures, meant that every team member knew their role and were able to make the wing drone ready for flight.

It did also came with practical challenges that were out of our control:

Aside from the practicalities, let's not forget to mention the new flavours the team experienced:

To sum it up, it's been great so far, meeting amazing people on the ground who are the best in their industry, eager to share their knowledge and experience, with one goal in mind: making drones happen.

Chris & David prepping the drone for BVLOS flight

VIP Demo Day

With Avy not scheduled in for the VIP demo day, the team woke up at 6:30 determined to squeeze in a flight for the VIP’s. There was no chance, the Avy Aera wasn’t going to be showcased in front of African ministers, donors and African civil aviation regulators. Well, strong determination paid off when the organisers put us on the schedule for the demo!

The flight was short, smooth and successful. 

Avy Aera VTOL drone

Turns out that we were one of the 6 drone companies to have performed in front of such a crowd! Alongside Bamboo, GermanDrones, HojungSolutions, Phoenix Wings and Wingcopter, the biggest game changers in the drone industry. 

African Drone Forum

Aside from preparing for the competition in Karongi. Avy had a booth at the African Drone Forum, which was happening at the Kigali Convention Centre from 5-7th February. 

A lot of exciting things happened during that first day: 

Patrique & His Excellency holding the Avy medical payload
Avy & Auterion at the ADF booth with the drone

Lake Kivu Challenge

We’re excited for next week to come, the Lake Kivu Challenge!

We’ll be in the emergency delivery competition. Our mission?

Safely deliver an emergency package weighing a minimum of 1kg from the droneport on the mainland to Bugarura Island in Lake Kivu and then return and land safely at the starting point. The distance between the droneports is around 20km. No battery swap is allowed at the drop-off location.

This won’t be an easy flight, but we’re excited to compete alongside the biggest players in the field: Phoenix Wings, Wingcopter and German Drones

Stay tuned next week and be sure to look out for our Instagram stories during the Lake Kivu Challenge, happening 9th-14th of February.

Chris getting the VTOL drone in position


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