Detroit Aircraft Takes Flight With Lockheed Deal, Airport Renovation

8/19/14Follow @XconomyDET

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company has already formed a partnership with the Detroit Fire Department to test the Indago’s ability to assist in fire-fighting. As soon as he gets government approval, Rimanelli wants to deploy the Indago for hot spot detection and other services.

The Indago, which has a length and wingspan of 32 inches when deployed, is capable of real-time information and data reconnaissance. It has a range of up to five kilometers when it’s operated by controller (or more than 10 kilometers when using directional communication devices) and can fly for approximately 45 minutes on a rechargeable battery. It can also be folded up into a small, handheld case about a foot long, which Rimanelli thinks makes it ideal for busy police and fire departments.

Detroit Aircraft is also starting to make a name for itself in the local startup scene. It was a finalist in the June pitch competition sponsored by Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest tour, and Rimanelli hopes to soon establish a first-responder training academy, where UAVs will be part of the curriculum, at City Airport. He says Detroit Aircraft is also currently being “courted” by a huge defense corporation he declines to name to work on UAV-assisted detection of improvised explosive devices.

“It feels really good to get some traction,” he says.

Sarah Schmid is the editor of Xconomy Detroit. You can reach her at 313-570-9823 or sschmid@xconomy.com. Follow @XconomyDET

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