The Cutting Edge Drones return to the birthplace of flight


Stanwell Park – January 2019 by Gavin Docherty

Between 1890 and 1900, in the sleepy seaside town of Stanwell Park, Lawrence Hargrave tirelessly experimented with his flying contraptions.  He was one of only a small handful of aeronautical pioneers around the globe attempting to make manned flight a reality. As he sat on the dunes of Stanwell Park beach he studied the flying seagulls and realised that there was no magic to flight, just engineering.

Although he was focussed on recreating the flapping motion of the wings for many years using a rotary engine, it was only when he realised it was possible to soar the updraft with a fixed wing that he made major progress. After several single wing designs that struggled to maintain stability in the air, he completed his first prototype of the famous “Box Kite” in 1894.

In November of 1894, Lawrence Hargrave and his assistant walked from his house down to the beach at Stanwell Park to test his newly fabricated invention. (It is suspected that this would have taken place on the ridge at the mid-south end of the beach due to gentle slopes covering all wind directions)

After solving the problem of stability in the air by creating a Biplane structure, Hargraves confidently strapped himself into a sling seat below four box kites tethered in series, and rose to 16 feet in the air, becoming the first person in history to be lifted off the ground by a stable fixed wing device.

Lawrence Hargrave believed that this invention should be used by inventors around the world to further our knowledge of the skies and eventually produce powered aircraft that can fly long distances safely. He never obtained a patent and strongly believed that this information should be disseminated widely and freely. Hargrave’s work was observed closely by American inventor Octave Chanute who reported that the skies of Eastern USA were “red with Hargrave’s Kites” and that groups of US aviators dubbed themselves “Hargraves disciples”.

The Hargraves box kite laid the foundation for the first powered biplane flight at Kittyhawk in 1903.

Fast forward 125 years and the skies are full with Hang gliders, Paragliders, Kite surfers, small planes, large planes, jets, helicopters and most recently Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS).

In January of 2019, Aptella hosted the German Company Quantum Systems for training of the newly released, cutting edge VTOL/Fixed Wing hybrid the Trinity F9.

After signing an exclusive agreement to bring the Quantum Systems Trinity F9 to the Australian markets as well as agreements to sell in New Zealand and South East Asia, Martin Herkommer delivered a very high quality and comprehensive training course to the Aptella RPAS group back where flight all began.

Figure 2 – Quantum Systems Trinity boasts a streamlined modular design and customizable payloads for full flexibility of aerial surveying operation

Aptella pioneered the introduction of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) for surveying applications in Australia. The decision to team with the Quantum Systems group has come after almost 10 years of RPAS industry experience. With unparalleled expertise in this new and innovative technology, Aptella provides the highest standards of solutions advice and support, enabling you to maximise the benefits of aerial mapping for your application. Unlike many of the “non-professional” systems that are readily available on the market, Aptella RPAS solutions are specifically designed to offer unrivalled accuracy and reliability for the mining, surveying and engineering industries. In addition to robust, safe hardware, Aptella complements their RPAS technology with the latest in post processing software to suit your application and deliver the best results in the fastest turnaround time. Aptella is the exclusive Australasian distributor for Quantum Systems RPAS solutions.

The company “Quantum-Systems”, was founded in January 2015 and specializes in the development and production of automatic transition aircrafts for civilian use. Their aerial mapping solutions combine reach and efficiency with the ability to vertically take off and land (VTOL) without additional equipment.

By means of the founding team’s diversity, Quantum-Systems manages to combine extensive experience and expertise from all relevant areas of unmanned aerial systems. In 2008 Quantum systems started to conduct research in the field of automatic flight systems and already in 2012 successfully completed the first autonomous transition. Being managed by its owner, Quantum Systems remains independent in its decision making resulting in an ability to maintain currency in this fast-moving field.

The Trinity F9, released at Intergeo 2018, is a new breed of RPAS with the advantage of a vertical takeoff and landing but with all the coverage capabilities of the best of the fixed wing class.

With its modular “click together” design, on board PPK and a multitude of payload options this is the only RPAS you will ever need for your aerial surveying requirements.

The training was held at Maddens plains, near Stanwell park, and the system performed perfectly. The advantages of the vertical takeoff and landing and transition to a full fixed wing glider were clear to all the Aptella staff and the results achieved during training were as good and, in some cases, better than expected.

For more information on the Trinity F9 and a full briefing of the results achievable contact your local branch on 0800 867 000.

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