Cambium and Applied Aeronautics Partner to Produce Low-Cost, High-Survivability Military & Commercial Drones


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New drones will feature a wide range of customizable benefits, including protection against laser attack, sustained heat and fire. 

MOJAVE, Calif. and AUSTIN, Texas — July 6, 2022

Mojave, CA-based Cambium and Austin, TX-based Applied Aeronautics announced today that they have signed a commercial and product development agreement to design, manufacture, and commercialize low-cost, high-production rate, enhanced-survivability Group 1, 2 & 3 unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for defense and commercial customers. With an emphasis on durability, these new drones will feature a wide range of customizable benefits, including protection against laser attack, sustained heat and fire, as well as flexible launch and recovery systems and rapid in-field deployment.

Applied Aeronautics is best known for its lead product, the Albatross, an affordable, modular, long-range drone system that addresses mission-specific challenges by enhancing their platform with advanced capabilities like object tracking, detect and avoid sensors, encrypted communications, and GPS-denied navigation. Cambium is at the forefront of enhancing the performance and survivability of hardware across land, air, sea and space through unprecedented material and manufacturing innovation, and has developed a self-extinguishing, high-temperature bio-composite material systems that will be used to manufacture next-generation UAS airframes, as well as protection systems for optics, sensor and power unit protection modules.

These new aircraft, produced from a US supply chain and production platform, will be capable of delivering ruggedized UAS for US defense customers and Allies even in surge deployment scenarios, as well as customers in renewable energy, oil & gas, and wildfire-fighting support. The companies are also advancing a modular, air, land, or sea transport-ready, crate-based battlefield-friendly manufacturing system. Deal terms were not disclosed.

"Cambium has assembled a highly skilled team from aerospace, military R&D, and biotech. We look forward to augmenting and expanding our UAS offerings through this partnership and are confident that together, we'll bring to market products well suited for complex missions in austere environments," said Applied Aeronautics Co-founder and CEO Ryan Johnston.

"As a young, nimble company focused on putting new products into the field to address emerging threats, Applied Aeronautics and their flagship aircraft, the Albatross, are the perfect platform from which to build a new pipeline of next-generation drones using Cambium’s advanced materials and Manufacturing Innovation System," said Cambium Co-founder and CEO Simon Waddington.

About Applied Aeronautics

Applied Aeronautics is a U.S.-based UAS manufacturer specializing in designing and manufacturing affordable, long-range composite drones. Applied Aeronautics' flagship product, The Albatross, is an electric fixed-wing UAV designed for use in most industries, ranging from agriculture and research to disaster management and defense. This entirely customizable solution was engineered for accessibility

and to meet the growing demand for a professional UAS that married robust capabilities with an affordable price point. The company's group 2 platform, the Albatross, was one of the first to receive both FAA and Transport Canada authorization for BVLOS flights in the US and Canada.

Contact: Meg Annand,

About Cambium

Cambium enhances the performance and survivability of hardware across land, air, sea and space through unprecedented material and manufacturing innovation. We are a team of innovators from SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Lockheed Martin, US Defense Department laboratories and biotech companies. We bring together product engineering and technology integration expertise to radically evolve products that deliver performance across defense, aerospace, space and renewable energy. Cambium developed its bio-composite material systems in close collaboration with US Navy biomaterial experts through a multi-year cooperative research and licensing program with the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division in China Lake, CA, and leveraged related technology licensing from the Naval Research Laboratory.

Contact: Stephan Herrera,

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