AFWERX Welcomes First Pyka Pelican Cargo Aircraft: A New Era of Autonomous Electric Freight
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AFWERX Welcomes First Pyka Pelican Cargo Aircraft: A New Era of Autonomous Electric Freight

Pyka Pelican Cargo electric plane is parked on a runway, featuring long wings with spinning propellers on the tips
  • Pyka’s Pelican Cargo aircraft was introduced at New Braunfels National Airport, showcasing a leap in autonomous electric cargo aircraft technology.
  • The aircraft features a 400-pound payload capacity and a 200-mile range, suited for long-distance, heavy-payload deliveries.
  • Designed for efficient, remote area functionality, the aircraft transcends traditional airport boundaries, enhancing cargo delivery flexibility and precision.

The aviation sector experienced a milestone event at New Braunfels National Airport with the debut of the Pelican cargo aircraft, an achievement by Pyka in the autonomous electric cargo aircraft category. This significant innovation, known as the Pelican Cargo, stands out with its ability to carry a 400-pound payload and cover a 200-mile range, showcasing its design for high-efficiency, off-the-grid missions. Tailored for operations that require preciseness and adaptability, the Pelican Cargo is a significant development in aviation, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in remote cargo delivery.


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Pyka has partnered with AFWERX – the Air Force’s innovation catalyst – to integrate the Pelican Cargo aircraft into the United States Air Force’s Agility Prime program. This collaboration highlights a mutual commitment to harnessing technology to enhance the operational capabilities of the Department of Air Force (DAF). With this delivery, Pyka and AFWERX are setting the stage for a new era of autonomous aerial logistics.


The Pelican Cargo’s Strategic Impact

Pyka Pelican Cargo electric plane in flight

Lt Col John Tekell, the visionary behind the Agility Prime Branch, expressed enthusiasm about the venture, stating, “The AFWERX Agility Prime program looks forward to learning about the deployment and operational capabilities of electric aircraft through this contract.” This statement not only highlights the program’s goals but also stresses the potential impact of the Pelican Cargo on future missions.

Founded in the innovative heartland of Silicon Valley, Pyka has rapidly evolved from its humble beginnings in 2017 to a key player in national defense technology. The Pelican Cargo aircraft stands out as the largest autonomous electric cargo aircraft in its class, designed to operate in challenging environments with limited ground support. Its quick recharge time of under 90 minutes and minimal operational crew requirements demonstrate its efficiency and practicality.

Michael Norcia, Pyka’s CEO, shared his pride in the partnership, remarking, “We’re proud to deliver Pelican Cargo to AFWERX for the United States Air Force’s Agility Prime program. Our aircraft offers an unparalleled platform for heavy-payload and long-range autonomous electric cargo logistics.” Norcia’s vision for the Pelican Cargo extends beyond boosting military capabilities. It also aims to lead the way in sustainable aviation, in line with DAF’s goal of promoting zero-emission air travel.


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IMAGES: PYKA

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AUTHOR: 

RANDI BENTIA

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