Autonomous aviation startup Xwing raises $10M to scale its software for pilotless flights

Autonomous aviation startup Xwing locked in a $10 million funding round before COVID-1 9 thump. Now the San Francisco-based startup is using the capital to hire ability and flake the development of its software load as it aims for commercial operations later this year — pending FAA approvals.

The company announced Wednesday its Series A funding round, which was led by R7 Partners, with participation from early-stage VC Alven, Eniac Ventures and Thales Corporate Ventures. Xwing has already hired several key managers with that fresh injection of fund, including Terrafugia’s former co-founder and COO Anna Dietrich and Ed Lim, a Lockheed Martin and Aurora Flight Discipline veteran who more recently guided guidance navigation and control for Uber’s autonomous auto divide as well as Zipline’s AV give drone.

Xwing is different from some of the other autonomous aviations startups that have sounded up in recent years. The startup isn’t building autonomous helicopters and airliners. Instead, it’s focused on the application stack that will enable pilotless flight of small-minded passenger aircraft.

Xwing is also aircraft agnostic. The company’s technologists are focused on the key functions of autonomous flight, such as sensing, concluding and oversight matters. The application stack, which is designed to work across different kinds of aircraft, is integrated into existing aerospace methods. That programme of retrofitting existing aircraft will speed up deployment, while maintaining safety and prevent penalties in check, according to founder and CEO Marc Piette. It also is a straighter path towards regulatory approval.

” It’s more effective for us to not restraint ourselves to a returned vehicle and to develop technology that is considered more of an enabler — from a marketing perspective — than becoming full stack, Piette said when asked if Xwing would ever try to build an autonomous aircraft from the groundup.

Since Xwing’s last-place funding round –$ 4 million in summer 2018 — the company has developed down its tech and working with the FAA to receive flight certification for pilotless aircraft. Once approved, the company will seek to commercialize pilotless flights.

The startup hasn’t reputation any commercial spouses yet. And Piette hasn’t required details about its commercial policy either, although he said to expect more bulletins this year.

Xwing is already working with Bell for NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems( UAS in the NAS) program, an initiative meant to mature the key remaining technologies that are needed to integrate unmanned aircraft in U.S. airspace. The planned plans to hold demonstration flights this summer.

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