Category Archives: Latest News

Latest News

V-TOL is excited to announce that Halocell have delivered the first test sets of their advanced perovskite solar cells to our Rocklea facility.

“Our initial perovskite cell testing findings indicated a significant advantage both in weight and power generation over current technologies”, says Mark Xavier, CEO at V-TOL Aerospace.

The test program to address how these cells will be integrated has commenced. This integration will allow the direct placement of the cells into the wings and fuselage assemblies of the Pegasus I* RPAS.

“Due to the nature of the cells, the entire aircraft can be skinned with the perovskite solar solution, effectively doubling the surface area that can generate energy for the Li-S batteries”, says Dr Kye Morton, CTO at V-TOL Aerospace.

V-TOL Aeronautical Engineers, Joe McGee & Rhys Mapson are seen here displaying a gift from Halocell, an operating example presentation arrangement. Tom Fontaine at Halocell has kindly provided further information about the new cells in: Revolutionizing Drone Technology with Perovskite Solar Cells

“This LED will shine brightly for years to come without being exposed to direct outdoor sunlight. Another advantage of the Halocell chemistry which will also see it used in our healthcare products at Ariel.Care,” says Mark.

*Pegasus I is the test bed for developing a family of long range long endurance solar aircraft utilising the advances in Australian Halocell Perovskite Solar & (ASX: LIS) Sulphur Metal Battery technology.

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V-TOL Aerospace has executed a Joint Development Agreement with the ASX listed battery manufacturer Li-S Energy and the solar cell manufacturer Halocell Energy. The aim of this agreement is to design and manufacture two (2) cutting edge multi-purpose drones:

  • Pegasus I – a small drone designed for low-level infrastructure survey. It will enable:
    • Large-area surveying and real-time AI-driven infrastructure fault detection.
    • Long-duration “dawn til dusk” (12-14 hours) communication relay operations.
  • Pegasus II – a large drone designed for high altitude, long endurance flights (weeks to months at a time). It will enable:
    • A semi-permanent communications platform that can be positioned on-demand.
    • A wide range of large-area and on-going environment monitoring capabilities for multiple kinds of imaging sensors.

“These aircraft types equipped with advanced Li-S Energy’s storage and Halocell’s next-gen solar panels will be Australian Designed & Made by V-TOL Aerospace. The geospatial and communication capabilities of a highly redundant multi-purpose network of Pegasus I & II aircraft will offer Australian industries a capability only limited by our imaginations,” says Mark Xavier CEO of V-TOL Aerospace.

“We look forward to delivering these products with our Joint Development Partners & Industry Program Participants,” he continued.

A full ASX release is available from Li-S Energy for further reading, or refer to their ASX Announcements for the latest details.

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V-TOL Aerospace’s innovative approach to developing the Rota-Fix™ drone for attaching Balmoral Rotamarka™ safety devices to electrical infrastructure has now been certified as a new & distinctive design by IP Australia. This acknowledgement is great news and of significant value for V-TOL Aerospace as we take this technology global, says Mark Xavier, CEO & MD of V-TOL.

As V-TOL’s launch product in its strategy to deliver Robot AI Human Teaming solutions for the maintenance & management of critical energy infrastructure under, Rota-Fix™ will provide an appropriate example of how advanced robotics & AI can be safely & effectively utilized.  We look forward to additional announcements by IP Australia and with our growing group of collaborating Australian & NZ industry partners that will demonstrate that V-TOL Aerospace is a global leader in its chosen field.

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After three years of close collaborative development, testing and deployment, and despite the challenges of COVID, Balmoral Engineering working closely with V-TOL Aerospace and Energy Queensland (EQL), has certified V-TOL’s Rota-Fix™ Drone installation solution for the placement of Rotamarka™ on electrical infrastructure.

Balmoral’s Rotamarka is designed to deflect birds, low level aircraft, and potential ground based contact from electrical infrastructure. The Rotamarka™ is a world leader in infrastructure safety, as noted by Glen Cook, and is internationally recognised for EQL’s safety strategy “Look Up & Live”.

“Key to our installations is the knowledge that V-TOL Rota-Fix™ has demonstrated the ability to safely install Rotamarka™ to the manufacture’s specifications without disruptions to live networks”

Gordon Hedges from Balmoral Engineering

This marks a key next step in the enabling capabilities that V-TOL Aerospace is now able to provide. Attaching the Rotamarka™ correctly, safely, and with minimal interruptions to the on-going operations of energy providers allows for on-going improvements to network safety standards without any of the typical downsides associated with this kind of work.

We look forward to rolling out V-TOL’s Rota-Fix™ and Balmoral’s Rotamarka™ using a “supply & apply” strategy wherever energy infrastructure is located. This outcome demonstrates how Australian companies and industry, working closely together, can deliver an innovative global solution.

Mark Xavier, CEO of V-TOL Aerospace

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Beautiful day for a flight test!
V-TOL and NearSat’s Eagle Hawk trials continue. The aircraft performs well above expectations. So our goal to achieve flight within the stratosphere is within close reach. As a result of these tests, we are running training. With the goal to equip specialists and pilots with the skills they require.  
The aim of these flights is to collect critical data. This will optimise the performance and reliability of the Eagle Hawk system. So our training exercises are paramount. We will soon have all the skills required to safely navigate the vehicles to the intended altitude. Mark Xavier Chief Remote Pilot
So V-TOL’s team of engineers and pilots are hastily processing the enormous amounts of data gathered from these test flights. See what’s happening with the NearSat team at their website.

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NearSat and V-TOL have commenced flight trials of the Eagle Hawk III, an above 25kg capable fixed wing remotely piloted aircraft.

NearSat, the developer of the High Altitude (HALE) RPAS platform technology, has been collaborating with V-TOL on this project.

the eagle hawk iii shows it's impressive flight capabilities

The Hawk III is the up-scaled successor to the Eagle Hawk II.

The Hawk II had conducted critical flight trials to 8000ft AMSL within CRT of Amberley.

We are preparing for new flight operations, so we expect to see the Hawk III operate well beyond it’s predecessor.Chief Remote Pilot Mark Xavier

The flight data collected from these trials will be used for high altitude research. NearSat continues to collaborate with us on this project. As a result we are expecting to see near space flights shortly!

Checkout what’s going on with the NearSat team by vising their website!


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With the help of NearSat Engineers, our team is currently conducting simulated missions. Our goal is to get the best understanding of how the NearSat Eagle Hawk will function at altitudes up to 60,000ft.

nearsat and vtol team running simulations

Over 3 years the joint team have worked tirelessly. As a result we have seen advances in a number of areas.

We are more focused than ever, since news that the QLD Government Cloncurry Drone testing facility will come online this year.

So we expect the 60,0000ft altitude challenge should become a near term and routine reality.Chief Remote Pilot Mark Xavier

Our team has completed dozens of missions. These were achieved using a scale proto-type NS Eagle Hawk in RAAF Airspace.

We will soon be testing a full scale Hawk 18,000ft and beyond!

Find out more about this at the Australian Aviation Website!

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Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
The Honourable Cameron Dick

Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development and Minister for the Commonwealth Games
The Honourable Kate Jones


As part of the government’s strategy to make Queensland the drone capital of Australia, the world’s leading minds in drone technology will converge on Brisbane for one of the largest unmanned automated vehicle conferences on the globe.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the World of Drones Congress at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre this week played an important part in the government’s plan to diversify Queensland’s economy.

“Through our half-a-billion-dollar Advance Queensland fund, we’re investing in sectors like drone technology because we know this is the way of the future,” she said.

“We’re committed to diversifying Queensland’s economy to create the jobs of the future in this state. That’s exactly what we’re doing by supporting this conference.

“Queensland has some of the world’s foremost experts on drone technology. We’re working hard to position Queensland as the drone capital of Australia.

“Our work is helping us to build critical mass in artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous vehicles and will allow us to capitalise on a global industry which Goldman Sachs expects to be worth more than US$100 million by 2020.

“Collaboration is important in innovation. To have the world’s best minds in drone technology in the one place, working together with Queenslanders is invaluable.”

State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the recent release of the Palaszczuk Government’s Drones Strategy – the first of its kind in Australia – would help ensure Queensland has the right policies and programs in place to back future technologies, regulate their use and create jobs.

“We’re the only state in Australia with a strategy to capitalise on the growth of this sector,” he said.

“Our highly-skilled workforce and support for platform technologies through programs like our $15 million Industry Tech Fund puts us in a very strong position.

“Local drone businesses cover a range of sectors – everything from accident investigations to surveying and farming and international companies like Terra Drone and Trumbull Unmanned.

“The Palaszczuk Government is forging ahead in this space by investing in new technology that we know will create jobs in Queensland and support our growing tech economy.”

Ms Jones said Queensland was a leader in the development and application of drone technology.

“The World of Drones Congress creates international trade opportunities for its host. For this reason, the Palaszczuk Government is providing up to $350,000 to host the Congress in Brisbane in 2018 and 2019,” she said.

“Through a new Artificial Intelligence Hub at The Precinct in Fortitude Valley and various Advance Queensland grants, we’re helping local startups like InFarm from Goondiwindi, Fly Freely from Townsville and Brisbane companies V-TOL Aerospace and Immersive Robotics to develop their technology.”

World of Drones Congress Convenor Catherine Ball said about 500 delegates would visit the conference, many from other countries, which was another sign of Queensland’s reputation in the Asia–Pacific region as a leader in drones.

“Drone technology is here and the possibilities are endless for businesses going forward, from the delivery of goods to giving the movie industry a new look, and helping our Queensland lifesavers patrol our beaches,” Dr Ball said.

“Through this conference and the innovative work of drone companies around Queensland, we can take drone applications to the next level and help many sectors explore the capabilities of these machines.”

Renowned drone experts like futurist Professor Genevieve Bell from the Australian National University and Professor Gordon Wyeth from Queensland University of Technology will lead keynote addresses across the two-day conference.

The World of Drones Congress is being held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from August 9-10 2018.

Media contact: Jack Harbour 0419 620 447

Latest News

The Financial Review in association Deloitte held the Australian Innovation Summit 2018 from 30-31 July at the Sofitel Sydney, Wentworth. Sitting to the far right, V-TOL CEO Mark Xavier participated as a guest speaker at the Summit providing personal insights addressing the topic, “Israel the Innovation Nation – what Australia should take on board”. “It was an honour to be invited by the AFR to contribute to the discussion on Israeli & Australian innovation”, says Mark.  “Israel is a unique test case that leads the innovation world in many ways. Australia can learn much from the mindset of its people,” he continued.