Gadfin: Israeli firm opens new horizons in the field of air cargo drones

Gadfin are experts in constructing drone aircraft and providing the logistics and capabilities for autonomous drone delivery services between businesses, hospitals and work centers.

EYAL REGEV with one of Gadfin’s air cargo drones (photo credit: Courtesy)
EYAL REGEV with one of Gadfin’s air cargo drones
(photo credit: Courtesy)
There is a wise saying: “Never let a crisis go to waste.” No matter how difficult the challenge may be, it is imperative to learn from it and forge new solutions. The COVID-19 virus has provided the world with a formidable challenge and an innovative Israeli endeavor has risen to the occasion with a game-changing solution.
The challenge being met is the need for delivery of urgent medical supplies, vaccines, even organs for transplant, in ways that are efficient, quick, safe and economical. Conventional delivery poses many problems, such as the time it takes for delivery, possible glitches in road traffic, safety, maintaining the product at optimum temperature, the cost of transport and manpower hours.
The Rehovot-based logistics company Gadfin has come up with a trailblazing solution: air cargo drones. They are experts in constructing drone aircraft and providing the logistics and capabilities for autonomous drone delivery services between businesses, hospitals and work centers. Currently, they are in the midst of preparations for delivery of COVID-19 vaccines and are fitting their drones with a COVID-19 vaccine delivery-compliant compartment that can maintain -80° centigrade cooling for as long as three hours.
Speaking to The Jerusalem Post, Gadfin CEO Eyal Regev points out, “Our goals are to make connections in the physical world. It can be compared to the worldwide Internet Web, www, which allows people worldwide to connect and share information and knowledge. Imagine if all hospitals and medical labs from the Dan in the North to Eilat in the South were able to transfer refrigerated medical cargo economically within minutes. This is our vision. Our goal is to build a new kind of ‘railroad in the sky’ able to deliver supplies from point to point in all weather – safely, quietly and reliably, like never before. ”
IN 2006, Regev, while working at Israel Aeronautics Industry, began developing the drone potential. He remembers thinking about a drone that would act like a courier pigeon carrying out important deliveries. Some people thought him crazy, he remembers, but others saw the potential and urged him to “go for it.”
In 2018, Regev, with Ran Kleiner and Ilan Yuval, established Gadfin, specializing in making drone airplane logistics. Located in Rehovot, they were the first to propose and implement the concept of delivery drones for businesses and large organizations. In 2020, Gadfin was the first in Israel to be granted the license by the Civil Aviation Authority to deliver cargo by drones, and is recognized worldwide as the first approved advanced-logistics drone delivery line.
“We chose the name Gadfin for our company because it is the Aramaic word for wings,” Regev explains, “and illustrates our potential. The term is used by the Zohar in the Book of Kabala, which explains, in order to develop, every person is gifted with two wings. One is the light of his ego, wisdom, creativity, talents and inventiveness. The other wing is his potential for doing good in this world. I believe we will be worthy of this name.
“We called our first drone Spirit 1, which has ability to take off and land in a vertical position (VTOL). It has a small ‘footprint,’ needing only three square meters to take off and land. It is fully autonomous and has the capability to load and unload itself. During takeoff and landing, its wings fold in close to its body and during flight, its wings fold out and it flies like a regular plane. The drone is powered by a hydrogen fusion battery and does not pollute the air. It has the ability to reach a speed of 100 kilometers per hour and has a flight range of more than 250 km. When fitted for flight, its computers are loaded with a flight plan and the aircraft follows that plan from one fixed location to another in pre-determined and approved routes.”
When asked about safety in flight, Regev responds, “We designed our aircraft under the strictest safety standards, such as: flight over people, RID (Remote ID) and BVLOS. We are acknowledged as the benchmark of safety, because for the first time in drone history, we provide an MTBL (Mean Time between Loss of Aircraft) of 1:10,000,000,000 hours. Our aircraft has an automatic, independent, smart parachute system and full redundancy in all critical components of the aircraft.”
Earlier this year, Gadfin management signed a contract with ENEL, the biggest electric infrastructure company in the world, for drones to scan its electric grid in Brazil and provide drone deliveries. They have an ongoing project with FRITZ (a logistics company) and Hewlett-Packard to provide 600 drone deliveries per month. In Israel, Gadfin won the Israel Ministry of Transportation tender to supply emergency drone delivery services.
Regarding COVID-19 immunizations, each flight of the Spirit 1 can carry up to 16 vaccinations and the Spirit X, which has greater capacity, can carry 400 vaccinations. Regev believes drone delivery is especially suited for isolated and remote areas such as settlements in the periphery, Bedouin villages and oil rigs.
“We can bring benefits of living in the city to the outlying areas,” says Regev. “We can help change demographics and help the world change for the better, in line with our motto: ‘Gadfin connecting the world.’”