Pyka launches large autonomous cargo plane

  • February 13, 2023
  • William Payne
Pyka Pelican Cargo

Pyka has unveiled its largest self flying electric plane, the Pelican Cargo. The company claims it as the world’s largest zero-emission cargo airplane and the first autonomous vehicle of its class.

The Pelican Cargo has a range of up to 200 miles, a payload of up to 400 pounds in 66 cubic feet of cargo volume and a nose-loading configuration with a sliding cargo tray. It is designed for express logistics networks, supply of remote rural communities, and emergency relief for areas in need.

Pyka has secured pre-commitments of over 80 orders and options for its Pelican Cargo from three launch customers in North America and Europe. The aircraft is currently undergoing testing at Pyka’s flight test facility in Northern California. The first commercial operation of the new product is expected for the second half of 2023.

The commercial success of the company’s earlier agricultural spray aircraft led to a $37 million Series A raise in April 2022.

“Pelican Cargo will have a significant positive impact on people’s lives,” said Pyka Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Michael Norcia. “We designed this plane to eliminate C02 emissions from the logistics chain, while offering a significant speed advantage over ground transportation and operating costs at a fraction of conventional air transportation.”

“We operate a carefully selected fleet of UAS platforms across our markets, each of which has been chosen due to its operational capabilities and unrivalled performance,” said Alex Brown, Director, Skyports Drone Services, one of Pyka’s launch customers for Pelican Cargo. “Welcoming the Pelican Cargo aircraft into our fleet will enable us to continue on our mission of solving complex logistical and operational challenges with tailored drone services. We know a thing or two about drones and in our eyes, the Pelican Cargo is the most advanced product in its payload class on the market. We’re excited to kickstart operations with Pyka and put the Pelican through its paces.”