Commercial Drones PilotsParallel Flight Technologies Receives Phase 2 SBIR Grant from USDA

July 29, 2021by helo-10

Research grant will support the development of a large-scale unmanned solution for prescribed fires.

LA SELVA BEACH, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, July 29, 2021 / — Parallel Flight Technologies (PFT), a leader in heavy-lift drone technology, today announced the receipt of a Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the USDA. The $650,000 grant was awarded to PFT and Drone Amplified, the developer of the IGNIS prescribed fire system, to support further development of a large-scale UAS for prescribed fire.

This Phase 2 grant follows the companies’ recent completion of a Phase 1 grant that demonstrated successful integration of PFT’s heavy-lift aircraft and Drone Amplified’s IGNIS system. The goal for the Phase 2 grant work is to deliver this large-scale unmanned prescribed fire solution based on PFT’s proprietary parallel hybrid technology for use by the US Forest Service and other agencies. PFT’s research indicates that this UAS will have eight times the payload carrying capacity of the existing solution as well as ten times the flight duration, resulting in more acres managed by prescribed fire at a lower cost and with increased safety for personnel. It will also provide more effective prescribed fire during active wildfires.

“This work is incredibly important to us because it is one example of how our technology will be used to save lives, property and the environment,” said Joshua Resnick, CEO of Parallel Flight Technologies. “This land management solution can play a huge role in controlling and preventing wildfires. Tragically, a number of helicopter pilots have died during controlled aerial ignition missions, as it is a low and slow operation with no room to recover. Using drones will not only lower the cost of land management to prevent large-scale wildfires, but also prevent helicopter accidents.”

Parallel Flight Technologies’ heavy-lift parallel hybrid drone has enough payload capacity for 3,500 incendiary spheres and is anticipated to be able to ignite 1,000 acres in a single flight.

“We’re proud to continue our partnership with Parallel Flight Technologies through this Phase 2 SBIR grant,” said Carrick Detweiler, CEO of Drone Amplified. “By combining their heavy-lift UAS technology with our prescribed fire system, we can deliver an advanced solution for wildfire prevention and land management.”

Parallel Flight Technologies’ patent-pending parallel hybrid drone technology enables its aircraft to fly ten times longer with a heavy payload than existing electric unmanned systems. Firefly, the company’s first commercial-intent drone, features this new parallel hybrid technology and can carry a payload of 100 pounds for over two hours. The unique hybrid power module technology enables zero operational downtime, providing maintenance as a service (MaaS) for aircraft operators. PFT’s heavy-lift, long flight duration UAS technology can be utilized for prescribed fire as well as a multitude of mission-critical applications, including real-time and complex industrial and healthcare logistics, tactical support for firefighters and first responders, and defense applications.


About Parallel Flight Technologies
Parallel Flight Technologies is an industrial-grade drone company with a mission to deliver unmanned systems that save lives, property and the environment. Based in La Selva Beach, California, the company has developed patent-pending drone technology that will allow drones to carry heavy payloads for over two hours, making it ideal for use in fighting wildfires, search and rescue, healthcare and other mission-critical logistics applications. To learn more, please visit

Sara Beth Ashbaugh
Parallel Flight Technologies
[email protected]

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