From Press

Detroit Aircraft Works to Integrate Humanitarian UAVs into Africa


Detroit Aircraft Works to Integrate Humanitarian UAVs into Africa to Fight Infectious Diseases DETROIT March 14, 2015 — Detroit Aircraft Corp., a manufacturer and distributor of unmanned aerial systems in Detroit, working with the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association and its partners, today announced at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas that they are working with the Republic of Ghana and others to coordinate the establishment of protocols for the use of humanitarian access vehicles, or HAVs, for the delivery of medicine, medical supplies, test samples, results, and related supplies.

The proof of concept with Ghana, a country of 27 million people located on the west coast of Africa, will include HAVs — land, sea, and unmanned aerial vehicles — in support of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in Ghana. The proof of concept will incorporate autonomous technology from connected car and aerospace programs to provide the first integrated humanitarian delivery logistics to combat Ebola and other infectious disease outbreaks around the world.

Organizations and businesses involved in the concept include the United Nations, U.S. State Department, Republic of Ghana, Lockheed Martin, Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, AlbrightStoneBridge Group, among others. “Working with our partners, our goal is to greatly limit the spread of infectious diseases in Africa and around the world,” says Jon Rimanelli, CEO of Detroit Aircraft, who presented during SXSW’s Connected Car Pavilion event while showcasing the company’s unmanned aerial vehicles in a demonstration area. “This is especially vital when logistics challenges like washed out roads make ground-based transportation extremely difficult, if not impossible.”

Rimanelli and the Michigan Aerospace Manufacturers Association refer to unmanned aerial systems, or drones, as HAVs to help mitigate negative connotations of war fighting air vehicles. “Aerial HAVs can literally save lives, are very adaptable, and don’t rely on ground transportation,” says Gavin Brown, executive director of the trade group. “As medical supplies are flown to the areas of need, blood sample from sick people in the area can be flown back to a central medical lab for testing and follow up treatment.”

Under the proof of concept, the team will develop the planning, operations, and sustainment systems for the HAV program in support of the United Nations relief effort. Currently, Ghana uses small manned aircraft to ferry medical supplies, but the planes have to land on a runway. Following that, ground vehicles complete the trip to a medical center, though washed out roads can hamper the final delivery. Aerial HAVs that offer VTOL capabilities (vertical take off and landing) are much better suitable and more efficient, Rimanelli says.

About DAC

Detroit Aircraft Corp., located at the Coleman A. Young International Airport in Detroit, manufactures and distributes Lockheed Martin’s Indago VTOL Quad Rotor and charging systems, in addition to designing, manufacturing, and distributing unmanned aerial systems. Founded in 2011, Detroit Aircraft works with first responders, farmers, utilities, and infrastructure owners and operators to provide UAS solutions to save lives, lower costs, boost efficiency, and streamline operations. It also provides UAS training programs.

Detroit Aircraft mention on Emergency Management site

Imagine giving firefighters the ability to identify hot spots in a wildfire, through real-time images, without risking the lives of staff members — or helping search and rescue teams scan a large area quickly for survivors after a disaster.

The technology to do this exists and is being used by some public safety agencies already with unmanned aerial vehicles. But UAVs have drawbacks, as well. Some agencies are adopting them, but concerns about safety, regulation and privacy are slowing the process. Read entire article on

DBusiness Magazine: Detroit Aircraft Drones may assist the Detroit Fire Department

Drone-cc1fdf65A partnership between Detroit Aircraft and the Detroit Fire Department may bring drone-assisted firefighting into the city as early as next spring, the two organizations announced today.

The groups are awaiting authorization in the next 60 days from the Federal Aviation Administration regarding their application to fly within given airspaces.

If approved, firefighters will begin training with Lockheed Martin’s Indago VTOL Quad Rotor, an unmanned aerial system that can fly for nearly an hour and carry assorted sensory payloads including an infrared (thermal) camera, which is especially important for the fire department, says Todd Sedlak, director of sales and flight operations for Detroit Aircraft, which manufactures the unmanned aerial vehicle.

Read the entire article on

Detroit Aircraft in UAS Magazine

Jon Rimanelli discusses the benefits of UAS.

Detroit Aircraft and Lockheed-Martin have partnered to integrate unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into urban firefighting and first response scenarios. Detroit Aircraft manufactures and distributes Lockheed-Martin’s Indago vertical take-off and landing Quad Rotor and charging system that the City of Detroit and the Detroit Fire Department will use.  Read the entire article on