In our Aug/Sept issue, Rob Erdos muses on float flying and we discuss night aerial firefighting. Plus: Air Canada in the pandemic, KF Aerospace at 50 and Canadians in the Battle of Britain.
Laflamme Aéro, located in the Thetford Mines region, announced the conclusion of a $2 million round of financing from Investissement Québec, Anges Québec and Anges Québec Capital. The investments are timely for the company that is preparing to market its LX300 drone in 2020, the first aircraft in the world of the unmanned helicopter type capable of carrying loads of 90 kilos.
“The LX300 is one of the largest civilian drones in the world. With its 300 kilos, it is mainly distinguished by its versatility, its ability to transport heavy loads and its flight autonomy of eight hours. This investment of $2 million now allows us to propel and promote our product to major national and international markets,” explained Enrick Laflamme, engineer, co-founder and president of Laflamme Aéro.
In addition to the commercial deployment of the LX300, the new investments will support the improvement of the company’s infrastructure and the establishment of an assembly line, the addition of new resources to support the growth of Laflamme Aéro , as well as continuity in research and development of new products.
Developed by the family business since 2013, the LX300 is an innovative product intended for the private, commercial, military and government sectors. Very versatile, the device can be fitted with surveillance cameras or even transport equipment over long distances, to supply a sector that is difficult to access, for example. The LX300 has successfully encountered numerous flight tests and other delicate take-off and landing maneuvers in the past two years.
“It has all the advantages of a helicopter, but without the need for a pilot. It is fitted with a tandem rotor system (two propellers), allowing vertical takeoff and landing and great stability. All of these elements and the quality of the design make it an extremely reliable product with competitive operating costs,” added Laflamme.
“Laflamme Aéro has developed an efficient and unique technology, which demonstrates Quebec’s excellence in terms of innovation. We are proud to support a young advanced aeronautical company established in the Chaudière-Appalaches region, to allow it to be competitive in the various targeted sectors in order to be successful in a multi-billion dollar global market,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, minister of the Economy and Innovation.
“A highly competitive sector like aeronautics requires major investments in research and development from companies, over several years, before reaching the pre-commercialization stage. As part of the government’s expanded mandate, Investissement Québec intends to make special efforts to finance and support businesses in non-urban regions such as Laflamme Aéro. We want to make a difference in order to mitigate the shortcomings identified during critical stages where risk-return levels are often deemed too high to interest certain private players,” said Guy LeBlanc, president and CEO, Investissement Québec.
Note that Laflamme Aéro benefits from the support of Transport Canada in the development of a certification adapted to the highest standards, as well as from General Dynamics Mission Systems, one of the largest defense and security companies in Canada, with which the Chaudière-Appalaches company recently signed a cooperation agreement to promote the LX300 to major defense and security players in Canada and internationally.