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Pyka brings in automotive expert as the P3 takes shape
Wednesday, 18 August 2021
Agricultural spray drone-maker Pyka has spent over four years working on a larger aircraft for cargo and passenger missions. Now it has appointed former Ford man Dan Grossman to preside over its development.

Pyka, maker of a commercially certified 100% electric autonomous aircraft at work in precision agriculture, has announced Dan Grossman - a pioneer in the electric mobility sector with Zipcar, Ford Motor Company and GM's Maven program - as company President and revealed plans for a passenger and cargo electric plane based on proprietary technologies honed in autonomous crop spraying.

The P3 will use a unique, patented propulsion system that utilises fixed pitch folding propellers in a pusher puller configuration.

Grossman joins a team of former Joby Aviation, Google, Wisk, Makani and Saildrone engineers and leaders. “Electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies are playing an increasingly important role in the future of human mobility,” he says. “Pyka's benchmark-setting electric propulsion systems, safety critical control software, advanced avionics, and custom composite airframes result from years of work in agriculture with our Pelican aircraft, and I'm excited to have joined this talented team to bring the results to human passenger aviation.”

Silicon Valley-based Pyka (backed by Prime Movers Lab, Y Combinator, and Greycroft) has been debuting their electric aircraft, called the Pelican, in the agriculture industry, and have completed over 3,000 crop protection missions. Now they are revealing the next step in their plan to expand into the cargo and passenger market.

Pyka's autonomous electric planes are already operational with global agriculture brands in Latin America, providing a game changing new level of safety, sustainability and cost-efficiency to the industry.

“In the coming decade, automation and electrification will solve the cost and safety issues that have prevented helicopters and small planes from becoming a meaningful part of our transportation system,” says Pyka CEO Michael Norcia. “Dan Grossman has already fundamentally changed the way people move around our world in his work with Ford, Zipcar and GM. We couldn't be happier to announce that he's joined our team, and to share specifications on our planned passenger plane.”

Pyka's newest aircraft will be an all electric, zero emissions passenger plane called the P3. The P3 will utilise the next generation of Pyka's autonomous technology platform and have a range of 250 miles at a 180 mph cruise speed. The aircraft should also see a 5x reduction in direct operating costs compared with current models. The P3 will commence flights in 2025 for same day and next day cargo transport. Pyka plans to certify the P3 for piloted passenger transport shortly thereafter, leveraging the massive network of over 5,000 underutilised small airports in the U.S. The P3 will provide airlines with an all-electric vehicle designed to decarbonize regional trips and dramatically expand the reach of their operations.

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