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Quickstep to make components for Carbonix drone

written by Adam Thorn | October 6, 2022

Carbonix’s hybrid surveillance drone Volanti

Quickstep has announced it will manufacture components for Australian firm Carbonix’s hybrid surveillance drone Volanti.

The two companies said the deal is the foundation of a partnership that will in future extend to all of Carbonix’s UAVs.

Last year, Carbonix raised $6.3 million in late seed funding to expand its services into North America, with Quickstep a $1 million investor.

Announced on Thursday, the new deal will see components for the Volanti manufactured at Quickstep’s Geelong facility, allowing Carbonix to initially fulfil an order from defence technology start-up Anduril.

Anduril recently won a $US1 billion counter-drone contract from the US Special Operations Command.


Volanti is an electric, fixed-wing drone that can fly at speed horizontally but take off vertically, conducting aerial surveys across difficult terrain. It has a two-hour flight time and 1kg payload limit.

Carbonix CEO, Philip van der Burg, said “With state-of-the-art facilities in New South Wales and Victoria, Carbonix is thrilled to be partnering with Quickstep and their highly trained and enthusiastic workforce, renowned for their innovative approach.”

It comes months after Quickstep agreed a landmark deal with Defence to try and identify the materials necessary to build the next generation of hypersonic weapons and aircraft.

While hypersonic tech (defined as flying at least five times the speed of sound) is nothing new, countries are currently in an arms race to develop the next generation of missiles that are so manoeuvrable in mid-air they can’t be intercepted or detected.

However, when objects fly so quickly the friction created can increase temperatures to more than 1,000 degrees.

Quickstep will work with UNSW on the ‘Hype-X’ project to identify and test materials that can survive extreme conditions.

Initially, the research will focus on the applicability of existing materials, before exploring novel materials and manufacturing processes to fill capability gaps.

Quickstep also recently announced that it was joining the Greenbird air taxi consortium, while last year it partnered with drone logistics company Swoop Aero.

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