Pyka’s Pelicans To Take Flight?

Jun 14, 2022

Pelicans are getting closer to flying the skies, and we aren’t talking about birds.

Pyka is an electric autonomous airplane manufacturer that designed the “Pelican,” the only commercially certified autonomous electric airplane and the first of its kind in the world. It just hit the final stage of flight demonstration for commercial approval in the U.S.

What is it? The Pelican is a small, sturdy, fully autonomous aircraft with LIDAR-enabled collision and terrain avoidance systems. They spray crops and can adjust flow rate and droplet size during the flight for precision and efficiency. One person can check and operate the aircraft. Oh, and did we mention it’s electric? (boogie woogie woogie)

Soundbite: “But one of the most exciting things is the new aircraft has zero single points of failure; there’s no single system that if it fails, will lead to a catastrophic event,” said CEO and founder, Michael Norcia.

Business has really taken off for Pyka over the last few years. In 2019, Pyka raised $11M in a seed round. A couple months ago, it closed on a $37M Series A round, with the promise to get busy on its new model: a cargo-carrying version of the Pelican.

This Pelican will carry 400 pounds up to 200 miles. It looks physically identical, but has a larger forward fuselage so larger items can fit.

What’s next? Inter-commerce testing between small islands with the goal of housing a Pelican cargo plane on a tropical island before the end of 2022.