Cluster member and leading composite component manufacturer, Quickstep, has named Waurn Ponds as the site for the development of the company’s centre of excellence in manufacturing drones.
Quickstep Advanced Air Mobility (QAAM), which includes a focus on drones and other eVTOL aircraft, a sector recognised as the “third revolution” in aerospace, will be based at the company’s R&D centre at Deakin University.
Leveraging its research and development capabilities and university relationships, Quickstep will provide drone companies with manufacturing solutions to aerospace quality at what it describes as “automotive pricing”.
Quickstep recently announced it had acquired a stake in Carbonix, an industry leader in drone design which provides capabilities to a range of industries. A manufacturing agreement between the pair is being negotiated to support Quickstep’s planned volume growth.
Carbonix targets cargo drone manufacturing, an operating market predicted to reach US$58 billion by 2035.
Steve Osborne has taken the role of Business Leader – Quickstep Advanced Air Mobility (QAAM), in addition to his existing role as GM Group Business Development.
He will lead growth of the new business, which harnesses Quickstep’s manufacturing, aerospace MRO services and R&D capabilities to enter the rapidly growing AAM sector, valued globally at $226 billion from 2020-29.
Quickstep Chief Executive Mark Burgess says the Australian government’s National Emerging Aviation Technologies Policy would support AAM sector growth locally.
“Establishing a dedicated vertical ensures we are laser-focused on taking advantage of the environment this creates,” Mr Burgess said. “Quickstep’s global reputation as an aerospace manufacturer and the creation of our Aerospace Services business provides us the foundation to build, operate and maintain drone systems.”Mark Burgess | Chief Executive, Quickstep
Quickstep says its investment in unmanned systems and launch of QAAM will identify manufacturing and sustainment opportunities, and it is developing partnerships with global leaders in the data, cargo and urban air mobility segments to bring advanced solutions to the Australian market.
“We expect these relationships to underpin significant growth from these segments in the coming years,” Quickstep says.