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Thursday, Feb 22, 2024

In Logistics, Cargo Drone on Horizon

Sabrewing Aircraft Co. Inc. has added a retired general and an executive from FedEx Corp. to its board of directors. The Camarillo startup is developing a vertical takeoff and landing cargo carrier drone. Joining the Sabrewing board are Mike Murkowski, retired senior vice president of South American Operations for FedEx; and Anthony Tata, a retired brigadier general for the U.S. Army. Murkowski’s familiarity with all aspects of a large overnight package delivery company as well as with remote and difficult operating locations make him an ideal addition to the Sabrewing team, the company said in a press release on Oct. 14. During his time at the helm of FedEx’s South American operations, Murkowski oversaw one of the largest growth periods for both cargo and revenue. “Sabrewing has the unique opportunity to change the way that packages get delivered to remote and weather-challenged locations,” Murkowski said in a statement. “We expect to be able to service both troops and civilians that previously have been at times almost impossible to reach.” Sabrewing’s aircraft, Rhaegal, is powered by a turbo-electric drivetrain that is capable of taking off and landing vertically in mud, snow, ice, deep sand or unimproved ground. It is piloted remotely for commercial uses and is fully autonomous for military uses. Certification of the Rhaegal by the Federal Aviation Administration is planned for 2023. Tata is a West Point graduate who has been awarded the Combat Action Badge and Bronze Star. He is chief executive of Tata Leadership Group LLC and also a bestselling novelist. He is thrilled to be part of a company that is transforming the drone delivery market, he said. “Sabrewing has the potential to form a new transportation network using large cargo drones, which will be invaluable in combat as well as peacetime,” Tata said in a statement. The Rhaegal has received an endorsement from the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence, and to date has a $51 million sales order book, with deliveries awaiting completion of FAA certification.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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