Guardian Agriculture becomes first eVTOL manufacturer to begin commercial operations

The eVTOL maker is now operating four of its aircraft on behalf of customers in California

Guardian Agriculture, the leading developer of electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) systems for commercial-scale sustainable farming, today announced that it has become the first eVTOL manufacturer to begin commercial operations. Guardian recently began operating four of its aviation-grade eVTOL aircraft, spraying crops in the Salinas Valley region of California.

Guardian's eVTOLs spray crops more efficiently, sustainably, and safely than traditional crop-dusters or ground-based equipment. Its systems are fully programmable, repeatable, and simple to operate. A single Guardian eVTOL system can cover up to 60 acres per hour, can carry a 200lb payload, and has a combined tank fill and supercharge time of less than 1 minute.

Guardian is operating in a global commercial agriculture segment valued at $65 billion annually.

"This is a watershed moment for sustainable farming and a giant leap forward for eVTOL technology," said Guardian Founder and CEO Adam Bercu. "While several companies are developing eVTOL technologies, we are now the only one that has both secured FAA approval to operate commercially nationwide, and that's actually started flying missions on behalf of paying customers."

In March 2023, Guardian received approval from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate its aircraft nationwide, making it the first commercially authorized eVTOL of any kind in the U.S. In addition to receiving its FAA approval, Guardian is also a member of the FAA's Integration Partnership Agreement, which advises the FAA on how to incorporate eVTOLs into the National Airspace System.

Guardian's eVTOL platform - which already has more than $100 million in customer orders - is the only autonomous, electric, aerial crop protection system designed specifically for large-scale agriculture. And unlike existing unmanned autonomous systems, Guardian designs and manufactures its system entirely within the U.S., supporting U.S. competitiveness, jobs, and ensuring national security.

Founded in 2017, and with offices in Massachusetts and California, Guardian has raised more than $20 million in funding. Guardian's leadership team includes engineering, autonomy, and manufacturing leaders that previously held senior-level positions at Apple, BAE, Sikorsky, Righthand Robotics, Tesla, and Uber.

Featured Product

Cost-effective cameras: More options for automation

Cost-effective cameras: More options for automation

Budget-friendly cameras can be considered an important growth driver for automation. IDS Imaging Development Systems has developed several camera families for this purpose, which are available with different resolutions, housings and lens mounts in order to optimize the development of machine vision projects. IDS' low-cost cameras of the uEye XLE, XCP and XLS series are, like all IDS cameras, characterized by "quality made in Germany", user-friendliness and long availability. The models are equipped with the basic functions for high-quality, industry-standard image evaluation and avoid unnecessary over-engineering. Furthermore, their small size makes them well-suited for embedded vision applications. One of the latest additions: a 20 MP onsemi sensor that makes it easy do discover tiny details.