Defence drones manufacturer opens shop on Sydney heritage site

A listed world heritage site in Sydney has become the home to a state-of-the-art drone manufacturing operation.

Carbonix has set up shop at the former naval dockyard on Cockatoo Island and is the first Australian company to commercialise and export fixed-wing drones using advanced composite materials like carbon fibre.

The Volanti drone is strong and stable enough to withstand winds up to 60km/h in flight. Built with carbon fibre making it extremely light, the airframe alone weighs just 4kg and is capable of carrying equipment loads twice its weight.

It can reach speeds of up to 100km/h or travel as slowly as 55km/h, is able to fly for up to seven hours and can handle temperatures of up to 120°C.

Carbonix is one of several companies the NSW Government is supporting with the NSW Defence and Industry Strategy, which aims to grow defence and aerospace industries to promote jobs and investment as well as innovation, research and commercialisation.

“On a World Heritage site, in the heart of Sydney, Carbonix is building on a proud maritime defence history with whole new industry which is set to evolve more and more in the years to come,” said minister for Trade and Industry Niall Blair.

“From an infantry unit to an air force pilot, drones have rapidly become an indispensable part of the tool kit for every arm of the modern military.

“As Australia moves towards manufacturing its own military drones, the ground-breaking work of Carbonix means NSW will be at the forefront of this technology.”

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