Cobra’s Composite Drone Division to highlight design re-engineering at XPONENTIAL 2024

Thailand’s Cobra International and its Composite Drone Division business unit will showcase how re-engineering a drone airframe or component can improve production cycles and reduce cost at XPONENTIAL 2024 which runs from 22 to 25 April in San Diego, California.

Active in the unmanned vehicle systems sector since 2019, the company now manufactures for a global list of clients including the supply of full composite air frames, structural components and non-structural parts for major North American drone manufacturers.

At XPONENTIAL 2024, Cobra will show how its in-house design and development team work with external structural engineering partners Composite Design Studio (CDS) to reverse engineer existing composite structures.

Radek Michalik, managing director of CDS, will demonstrate how this re-engineering approach provides scalable, cost-effective manufacturing options for drone manufacturers seeking alternative production routes, also allowing companies to create a manufacturing base in Asia. Cobra will also highlight how it combines composites with the assembly of electronics, as it presents a prepreg eFoil board – a Marc Newson collaboration with Flite.

Also on display on the Cobra stand will be a fully assembled 5.5m wingspan Swiftlet UAV platform. This compact tactical fixed wing UAV platform was developed by the Royal Thai Air Force and National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) for a broad range of survey, monitoring and search and rescue (SAR) operations. In addition, the Cobra team will also exhibit the VETAL drone, a twin rotor vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) platform with a composite airframe manufactured by Cobra for an Asian client.

Jaap Ruwaard, owner of Scabro Innovations BV, the Dutch specialist composite manufacturing company, will also be available for discussions on the Cobra booth. Composite Drone Division and Scabro Innovations will work together, with the Thai partners providing volume manufacturing and Scabro offering structural design and production line development for European blended wing drone manufacturers. The two companies will highlight their unique synergies, with Scabro also bringing prototyping, material development and processing knowledge to the table alongside their design expertise.

Danu Chotikapanich, CEO of Cobra International, said: “Now that we’ve added assembly of complex composite and electronic systems to the manufacturing mix at Cobra, we are now able to offer UAV customers a dedicated one-stop-shop for airframes, structures, and components.”