Together with our partner Koerschulte, we are currently demonstrating what is possible: regular, automated BVLOS operations (i.e. beyond the normally set limit of visual range) over industrial and residential areas. This requires a so-called SAIL III permit from the Federal Aviation Office (Luftfahrtbundesamt). Koerschulte are the third institution in the whole of Germany with such a permit and the first to use it to set up a commercial operation. There have been reports on this in almost all media this week, for example WDR, FAZ, Bild etc.

Since a number of steps are required for such an approval, we accompany our customers and partners all the way there: from the risk assessment for the corresponding categorization to the joint creation of the required operation manual to further adjustments and the final running operation.

In short, we not only offer the appropriate drones to make logistics use cases possible. We also have the necessary know-how to accompany you step by step from the initial idea to successful take-off. And, of course, we look forward to celebrating many more first flights like the one last Wednesday!

#ThirdElementAviation #3EA #TheFutureIsAirborne #Drone #Logistics #Innovation

Lift-Off! We and our friends at Koerschulte have been waiting for this moment for so long!

After sharing the great news about the successful SAIL III approval the other day, we are taking the next important step today. Finally, commercial delivery operations by drone can start. The permit issued by the LBA allows automated flight with maximum safety, even over industrial and residential areas.
And this is also our vision and our plan for a revolution in logistics on the golden last mile: instead of a delivery being stuck in a traffic jam for a long time due to traffic chaos, it can now simply fly over it. Drones make use of free airspace and can therefore save time and money.
We and our partner are delighted about the keen interest in our drones and Koerschulte’s new Drone Delivery as a Service offering and are so excited that we could jump into the air right now!
Sounds exciting? Contact us or Koerschulte directly so that we can take off together!

#ThirdElementAviation #3EA #TheFutureIsAirborne #Drone #Logistics #Innovation

Drones can take on important measuring and mapping tasks and at the same time make the work of those involved much easier and safer. This is demonstrated, for example, by the DUBGEM project, which has already been completed and which we would like to present again here.

What is DUBGEM?

DUBGEM is the abbreviation for the somewhat unwieldy title “Development of a UAV-based Gamma spectrometry for the Exploration and Monitoring of Uranium Mining Legacies”.) The project, led by the BGR (Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources), was not only a very successful R&D project, but was also the conceptual origin of the AURIOL.

What is the background to the project?

There have been abandoned uranium mines in Central Asia for decades. Many regions are therefore still radioactively contaminated. Due to the circumstances, remediation and monitoring are expensive, time-consuming and not least risky for the people involved.

The project therefore tested alternatives using drones.

What solution was developed for this?

The solution developed consists of a special sensor for gamma spectrometry, i.e. the measurement of radioactive radiation. We developed a new flight platform to integrate the rather heavy sensor with a drone system.

Today, with further developments, this has become our core product AURIOL.

AURIOL is ideally suited for such tailor-made, highly specialized solutions, which we develop together with our partners, as well as for standardized and quickly integrated applications in logistics. More about AURIOL here.

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #UAV #UAS #innovation #research

Dr. Henning Duderstadt was most recently involved in the operational management of the Open Innovation City project. He joined Third Element Aviation at the beginning of the year as Chief Financial Officer and third member of the Executive Board. In this article, he talks about his path to 3EA.

Henning, who are you and what do you do now at Third Element Aviation?

Well, my role is CFO – Chief Financial Officer – and I support the management in all financial matters as well as organizational development and networking!

What I’m most interested in at the moment is gaining an insight into the processes and work steps. I’m not an engineer and don’t have to and shouldn’t intervene in software or hardware development, but of course it’s important to really understand the products. So I approach things from an external perspective – even though I’ve been able to look inside the company for over two years now. I would have liked to have joined earlier, but as I was still involved in the Open Innovation City project, I was only able to join now.

You’ve just mentioned that you came from a project. What kind of background did you come to us from in general?

My background is in finance. I trained in business administration at the bank and have an MBA in Managing Financial Institutions. So I’m actually at home in the financial sector.

However, I decided in 2019 that I wanted to do something else. And I took the opportunity that presented itself to take operational responsibility for an exploratory project on the topic of open innovation and ecosystems. I had previously developed new business models at the bank and most recently promoted open innovation between start-ups and companies – so I was already fundamentally active in the field.

But you’ve actually been here for almost three years – in what form was that before you became CFO?

Funnily enough, I’ve actually been involved with the founding team for much longer because I had already gotten to know Height Tech beforehand and was then also involved in the founding of Third Element Aviation – at that time from the bank’s side. When I left the bank, it was also possible for me to work for the company in an advisory capacity.

When the advisory board was created following the entry of a strategic investor, it was Marius’ wish to support it. I couldn’t turn down this request and then became Chairman of the Advisory Board and was happy to take on this role. So at least I have always accompanied the company from this flying height, which of course makes it easier to get involved in operations now.

So you’ve been part of the Advisory Board since when? What was that time like?

We got together in 2021. That’s when I really realized for the first time what market potential we could tap into with the many use cases here. And what special positioning we have for this, which I could only guess at until then. Then to see where we stand, what we need to work on, that was a lot of fun. There are also many things that you can be very proud of, even though you might take them for granted when you work here every day.

What opportunities do you see in this market?

To be honest, I can’t imagine a pizza or fries being delivered to your doorstep by drone. However, I understand very well why drone technology simply makes sense in medical logistics or just-in-time logistics across large factory sites. If a van continues to drive across a factory site, it’s a bit like the development in school, where people have still been writing on the blackboard for 100 years.

And what exactly interested you about 3EA that made you want to continue working on it?

It actually came from this desire for a career change, i.e. the question of where I see myself professionally in the future. And 3EA was an opportunity that really fascinated me. After all, it’s not very common of course to do such a job part-time. And it was simply a huge stroke of luck for me, because I wanted to continue to position myself in the academic environment and at the same time had the opportunity to become a university lecturer for business start-ups and the main topics of my content there are also digital economy, innovation and change management. And so I hope that I can offer students added value with my practical experience and perhaps also be a gateway for new employees here. 

And I believe that I can now contribute even more explicitly what I have already contributed here as an advisory board member.

I’m sure I’ll also learn a lot, because working in a start-up is of course very different from working with start-ups.

What are you looking forward to during your time here, what are your plans?

First of all, I’m really pleased that it’s possible to combine both jobs in this way. There are a lot of things I’m planning to do in the medium and short term, but at the moment the short-term topics simply outweigh the long-term ones. This also makes the learning curve extremely steep. In addition – and this is often the case in small companies – there are hardly any hierarchical levels, in a positive sense little procedural organization, so you can actually get involved quickly everywhere. So you can quickly learn how the company ticks on a day-to-day basis.

And I hope that research and development projects will continue to cross-fertilize each other here. Influence from current scientific ideas, especially in the area of open innovation. Because this company has an incredible number of collaborations for its size – and that alone is an invaluable achievement.

Welcome to the team, Henning, and have a great start to your new adventure together!

Second photo: ©World Open Innovation Conference, Bilbao (2023):

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #TheFutureIsAirborne #drone #UAV #UAS #innovation

Do you know the lady in the picture on the left? No? But you should! Because Jacqueline Auriol was not only the inspiration for the name of our heavy-cargo drone (right), she was also one of the most impressive female aviators of the 20th century!

Born in 1917, she decided to learn to fly at the age of 30. What followed were various flying licenses for different types of aircraft and activities as an aerobatic pilot and test pilot. Even a serious accident did not stop the Frenchwoman: she continued to fly and broke several speed records.

Most impressively, as the first European woman to break the sound barrier in 1953, she was long regarded as the “fastest woman in the world” and received several awards. She can therefore undoubtedly be admired as a pioneer of the skies. 

Our drones are not yet flying at supersonic speeds, but our AURIOL is at least as pioneering as its role model: setting new standards is the goal!

High performance, reliability and the relentless motivation to soar to new heights – we and our AURIOL take our cue from the famous pilot.

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #UAV #UAS #AURIOL #jacquelineauriol #pioneers 

Left photo: This photograph is part of the Fonds André Cros, preserved by the city archives of Toulouse and released under CC BY-SA 4.0 license ( by the deliberation n°27.3 of June 23rd, 2017 of the Town Council of the City of Toulouse. Image was partially cropped.

A successful and eventful 2023 lies behind us.

We would like to thank everyone who was a part of it and say goodbye with a few impressions from this year’s Christmas party.

The entire 3EA team wishes you a peaceful and happy holiday season and a happy new year 2024!

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #happyholidays #merrychristmas #froheweihnachten

It is well known that ships are christened before they set sail – but this is still rather unusual for drones.

Nevertheless, one of our Auriols recently had the pleasure of being ceremoniously christened with the name “Nivi” with a champagne shower! “Nivi” comes from Greenlandic and means “little girl”.

The occasion for this was a first successful demonstration in the port of Esbjerg, Denmark, as part of the Vesco project, which is starting up again together with DanPilot.

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #UAV #UAS #auriol #port #denmark #piltots

It was exactly one week ago that we had the pleasure of attending the Blazers Bounty.

 Our partners The Trailblazers brought all their partners together to celebrate their third birthday – and, fittingly, their newly won title of TOP3 PR agency. To celebrate, but also to think about the future, because Desirable Futures was the motto. And in the end, that was the common ground for everyone: the firm belief that we can contribute to a desirable future. It was a great day at the Pioneer’s Club and the Founders Foundation with exciting insights and conversations. Dear Trailblazers, we congratulate and thank you for the great event and were very happy to be there (even with Auriol!).

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #future #blazersbounty

We recently sent two brave colleagues on a trip to New Orleans in the USA. The reason for this was the ROSCon and PX4 Developer Summit conferences taking place there. With ROS (Robot Operating System) with software libraries for robot applications and PX4 as software for flight controllers, both topics are highly relevant to us on a daily basis.

This makes it all the more important to stay up to date and maintain contacts with the two respective open source communities. At both events, there were insights into new developments, exciting specialist presentations, plenty of opportunities to exchange experiences and lots of networking opportunities. What we took home with us were new contacts, plenty of food for thought and a good dose of motivation.

And because you don’t come to New Orleans every day, of course, a bit of sightseeing was also a must. These included the Garden District and a swamp boat tour, during which no 3EA employees were harmed by alligators.

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drones #px4 #ROS #community #px4devsummit #roscon

Since the beginning of this year, Heiko Schenk is a new face with us and supports us in hardware development and as a test pilot. Working at Third Element Aviation is by no means his first encounter with drones: Heiko Schenk is a former German Drone Racing Champion and has raced all over the world.

Heiko, how did you come to 3EA?

At a party of a former sponsor and current friend, a mutual customer was a guest, who then directly contacted Third Element Aviation when he heard that I was on the lookout. We talked and now I’ve been here since the beginning of January. Before that, I was a trained IT specialist and was a support for ERP systems.

And you have more than a little prior experience with drones, right?

I did drone racing semi-professionally, so I worked part-time, but I also made money racing. That’s when I designed, milled and sold frames for the racing drones myself. I also had the opportunity to develop my own motor with the company T-Motor and there was also a “Heiko Schenk” racing propeller.

How do you even get into doing something like that?

I thought drones were kind of cool right when the topic started. It started with a photo drone, but that was boring after a few times. I quickly developed it a bit more myself. At some point I saw a video of FPV (First Person View) drones racing through the forest. On the same day, a beginner’s set was ordered, tried out and I was immediately hooked. With a FPV headset, the body is fooled and you have the feeling of sitting in the drone. It has something of the “dream of flying”, being free like a bird, being able to observe everything from above.

Since I am a competitive guy, after two weeks of flight training I made the decision that I want to become German Champion in the Drone Racing category. After nine months, I was already flying internationally, flying for teams and, until Corona came along, had been to over 30 countries.

Wow, and then where have you been? What’s the most impressive thing that stuck with you?

There’s so much – I flew over the Great Wall of China, over the Champs-Élysées, which was terribly impressive because there were so many people at the event. There was once a Redbull event on a Formula 1 track in Austria, where you flew through a hoop of fire, and a salt mine in Romania. I have also been to the USA, Brussels, South Korea and many other places. Additionally, I gave drone racing lessons at a Chinese school as part of a project week.

But now your drone racing time is behind you? Do you miss it sometimes?

Because of Corona, there were no more events in the international scene from one day to the next. During this time I dedicated myself more to FreeStyle flying and currently I don’t fly competitively anymore.

Sure, I miss the time somehow. But everything has its place in life and I am happy that I could turn my passion into a profession. They were beautiful but also intense five years from 2016 to 2021.

What do you bring back from that time for your work here?

Understanding drones and how they work, which is just something completely different again than with model planes. Weight, for example, is much more important. Also, drones are much more active when flying. The experiences I gained in my racing days help me in my job in many places: be it tuning, aerodynamic effects, vibration, radio or battery issues.

What do you like about your job and the company?

I like that the team consists of so many different people: people from the automotive industry, aeronautics, physicists, robotics and many others. And the work is not monotonous. There are many facets, whether it’s in development, flying in systems, or on-site with customers. And the flexible working hours are great.

Is there anything particularly memorable about your time here so far and is there anything you would like to see in the future?

Flying our 25kg drone Auriol for the first time was impressive. I would love to fly it through a course with FPV headset. The sound would be amazing. 

And last but not least: What advice would you give to other people who want to be part of the team?

That you should dare: this field is not something you can have learned the classical way. If you have flown something actively as a hobby, and have developed a little yourself, you can definitely bring that to the table. So anyone who is interested in the subject should apply.

(Thanks to Heiko Schenk for the additional photos!)

#thirdelementaviation #3ea #thefutureisairborne #drone #UAV #UAS #droneracing #interview #erfahrungsbericht #Auriol #FPV #FPVracing #3EAstelltvor #3EAintroduces #fpvlife #fpvdrones