Griff Aviation is taking a bold step forward in the drone industry. The Norwegian maker of drone components is opening a drone manufacturing facility in Lakeland, FL, to produce “super-heavy-lift” drones. These drones will be critical to construction, transportation, shipping, and more.
However, the prior generation of heavy lift drones could only support weights of 5 to 80 pounds. Remarkably, the Griff drones produced in Lakeland will surpass that weight by an order of magnitude or more. Currently, these drones carry payloads of hundreds of pounds. The company has a prototype in development that will lift nearly a quarter ton. On battery power these drones can carry their loads for twenty to forty minutes, but tethers can allow the drones to stay aloft indefinitely.
Drone Plant to Supply Heavy Industry
Current plans are to produce six heavy lift drones per week. They plan to rapidly scale up as needed. Griff created five basic models, with up to twenty different customization packets. The packages allow the drones to be adapted to a variety of purposes and uses, including; military, industrial, agricultural, and transport. Although, the drones retail starting at $250,000, this is a relative bargain compared to the only alternative resource for most of these purposes, a full-fledged helicopter starting at more than $1 million.
The drone industry grows at a remarkable clip, with new entries joining the field every day. Apparently, there are seemingly endless list of purposes for the flying vehicles. Also, the consumer drone industry is expected to rise to $4 billion over the next decade, while the military drone market is already $8 billion. It appears, this new technology is spurring a remarkable amount of creativity and excitement. In addition, it’s creating an investment wave that could well be a game-changer.