Helicopters Magazine

Boeing invests in UAS software startup Kittyhawk

June 7, 2018  By Helicopters Staff

Boeing, through its HorizonX Ventures division, made an investment in Kittyhawk, a startup company based in San Francisco that provides air traffic management systems for drones. Kittyhawk's technology is designed to support the development of a UAS Traffic Management System (UTM) that enables piloted and autonomous air vehicles to safely coexist.

Kittyhawk’s enterprise software and mobile-based apps integrate real-time UAS flight operations and management solutions under one platform, which includes tools from drone fleet asset management to realtime secure video streaming.

Since its founding in 2015, Boeing explains that Kittyhawk has grown its customer base to include industry leaders in media, insurance, energy, rail transportation, and fire and emergency management agencies for drone operations.

“When paired with the broad portfolio of complementary data service offerings within Boeing, Kittyhawk is poised to help us shape the future of safe autonomous flight,” said Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures.

Kittyhawk is partnering with Boeing subsidiary Jeppesen to expand unmanned operations by participating in the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability (LAANC). LAANC is a collaborative effort to create UTM processes that integrate unmanned aircraft, cargo delivery and beyond visual line of sight operations safely into the airspace.


“Boeing’s long history of forging new industries within the aerospace sector will also help as Kittyhawk continues its mission to create robust, open and interoperable standards to empower the commercial drone industry,” said Joshua Ziering, founder and chief pilot of Kittyhawk. “We have a unique opportunity to pioneer a new aviation industry and having the support of Boeing will give Kittyhawk the resources and expertise we need to be truly disruptive in this space.”

Boeing HorizonX Ventures participated in this seed funding round led by Bonfire Ventures, with participation by Freestyle Capital. The HorizonX Ventures investment portfolio is made up of companies specializing in technologies for aerospace and manufacturing innovations, including autonomous systems, energy storage, advanced materials, augmented reality systems and software, machine learning, hybrid-electric propulsion and Internet of Things connectivity.


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