Quickstep partners with TB2 Aerospace as it expands focus on burgeoning drone market
Australia’s largest independent manufacturer of aerospace composites Quickstep holdings will partner with US firm TB2 Aerospace in the US as it continues to grow its presence in the growing global drone market.
TB2 are the creator of a patented autonomous UAV payload alignment, docking and locking system automating the process of connecting payloads to UAVs with their market including defence, commercial and homeland security.
TB2 is looking to expands the patented system, which provides an autonomous means of connecting a range of podded solutions to drones and is designed to work on any UAS capable of accepting the TB2 system.
The system will allow operators to deliver rapid-change, multi-mission capabilities with reduced human intervention.
Under terms of the agreement, QHL will provide an initial $500k of engineering and structural integration services for the incorporation of the TB2 interface to customer aircraft.
QHL will also assist TB2 with the design, integration, supplier management and servicing of podded solutions.
The agreement also includes QHL taking a minority equity position in TB2, funded via a merchandise credit note which will be drawn down in respect of design, development, and prototyping work.
QHL says the program and equity position in TB2 is intended to further expand QHL’s reach across the unmanned aircraft system (UAS) manufacturing and services sector.
According to Grand View Research in 2022, the estimated global market size for commercial drones reached US$19.89 billion, with projections indicating a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.9% from 2023 to 2030.
Growth is being driven by the expanding adoption of drones across diverse industry sectors including business sector.
Grandview Research says incorporation of advanced technologies into commercial drones is creating fresh avenues for industry growth.
The range of business applications for commercial drones has notably broadened in recent years.
Furthermore, the defence and medical sectors are also adopting UAV technology.
TB2 founder Hank Scott says QHL ticked all the right boxes when it was choosing a partner.
“We have taken a logistics-at-scale approach to all aspects of our systems’ development, so when we started to look for a partner with the ability to design, mass produce and scale our system in various sizes for various industries it was a simple choice,” Scott says.
“Quicksteps’ ability to integrate our hardware, our vendors avionics and our partners UAV’s is crucial to streamlining our future plans.”
QHL USA vice president Steve Osborne says there is a substantial market for standardised podded capabilities across a range of commercial and defence applications.
“The ability to provide ‘capability in a box’ and other services using a common system that requires minimal human intervention, addresses a real challenge in the Drone sector,” he says.
Work will be carried out at Quickstep’s Geelong, Victoria facility and at their Wichita, Kansas facility once that site becomes operational.
Wichita has a strong aviation heritage and is home to some of the world’s most well-known aviation brands including Textron Aviation – the manufacturer of Beechcraft and Cessna aircraft, Airbus, Bombardier, and Spirit AeroSystems.
This article was developed in collaboration with Quickstep Holdings, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.