Carbonix to triple drone production with latest Quickstep contract deal

Australian drone manufacturer, Carbonix, has signed a new $2.3m contract with Australia’s independent aerospace composite manufacturer, Quickstep Holdings, that will see the company triple its drone production over the next year. Under the 12 month contract, Quickstep will manufacture 40 of Carbonix’s new long-range unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

What does Quickstep bring to the partnership?

The unmanned aerial vehicle is the successor to the Domani and optimised for linear asset inspections and features wings with advanced aerodynamics, increased payload capacity and an aviation-standard twin cylinder engine for propulsion in horizontal flight, allowing for steep climb rates to follow power lines in low density-altitude (hot and high) conditions.

The company manufactures high complexity composite components for aircraft such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, C-130J, F/A-18 and F-15E, working with several high-profile customers including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.

The agreement is the second stage of a broader manufacturing partnership that was initially announced late last year which will eventually see Quickstep manufacture all Carbonix drones. Quickstep Holdings is a leader in delivering advanced composite solutions to the global aerospace and defence sectors, relied upon by the most trusted aircraft manufacturers.

Mark Burgess, Managing Director at Quickstep
Mark Burgess, Managing Director at Quickstep

Quickstep Managing Director Mark Burgess said the company anticipated demand for the aircraft to significantly exceed initial production volumes. “Our engineering-led industrial solutions have great traction with drone companies and we are delighted to be supporting Carbonix as they increase their market penetration in Australia and the USA,” he said.

What does the partnership mean for Carbonix?

Carbonix CEO Philip van der Burg said Quickstep’s manufacturing processes and quality management systems deliver the high levels of quality assurance Carbonix customers expect while allowing the company to scale production to meet local and overseas demand.

“We understand the critical role that quality assurance plays in delivering the highest level of performance to our customers. That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with a company that shares our commitment to excellence, and whose advanced processes and quality management systems will help us raise the bar even higher,” Philip van der Burg said.

Quickstep began manufacturing Volanti, Carbonix’s smallest all electric fixed-wing VTOL UAV (Vertical take-off and landing Un-crewed Aerial Vehicle) drones allowing Carbonix to fulfill an order from Anduril, the US defence tech startup founded by tech entrepreneur Palmer Luckey that won a $US1bn counter-drone contract from the US Special Operations Command.