Pipistrel And Its 1 Patent Forced To Partner With Honeywell (Which Has Hundreds)

Honeywell is providing its next-generation Attitude Heading Reference System and Air Data Module to Pipistrel, the cargo UAV manufacturer. Pipistrel will add this critical navigation and motion-sensing data to its Nuuva V300 cargo UAV, which, as we previously discussed, already uses Honeywell’s Compact Fly-By-Wire system. 

Similarly, Pipistrel has also announced it will work with Amazilia Aerospace, the Munich-based subsidiary of Chinese logistics provider SF Express, to design and build an unmanned VTOL by 2023. Amazilia Aerospace will provide its Automatic Flight Control System and Vehicle Management System (AFCS/VMS), which includes both the avionic hardware and the software capable of automating the entire cargo mission. 

With collaborations with two avionics providers, one of which is a subsidiary of a leading logistics provider, Pipistrel looks poised to create a viable cargo UAV. 

Honeywell’s patent portfolio in UAV management is considerable: 113 issued patents. Honeywell has continued filing applications in navigation and fleet/swarm/ATC management, dropping off in the other categories. It has no patents in power management, which is where Pipistrel’s lone patent application lies. In addition to offering the ability to exclude competitors, a diverse and sizable patent portfolio is also a public indicator of the breadth of a company’s technology development. Honeywell seems to have that box checked, but is Pipistrel’s lone patent enough to protect its products if and when it’s producing hundreds of cargo UAVs per year and taking market share from others? Pipistrel might consider getting a few more patents to offer for cross-licensing. 

Amazilia does not appear to have any patents or applications, but then it was only started in 2018. SF Express has various patents, especially in logistics, but none that deal with UAVs or avionics. 

Follow the on-going development of cargo UAV management at Patent Forecast®