Press Release

With long-range drones from Anavia, SmartDigital Group expands its drone fleet

Tulln/Näfels – May 3, 2023

SmartDigital Group, an expert in digital transformation in critical infrastructure, is the first Austrian company to expand its drone fleet with an autonomous long-range drone from the Swiss manufacturer Anavia. Under the name of ED-Dragon 01, the high-tech unmanned aircraft system (UAS) Anavia HT-100 was acquired in the Swiss town of Näfels in the canton of Glarus. Anavia HT-100 is characterized by its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability, especially long flight time, very fast adaptability of the load capacity, and flight capability even in adverse weather.

ED-Dragon 01 bolsters the capabilities of the SmartDigital in-house drone fleet and performs convincingly with its stable carbon lightweight construction method that achieves a maximum altitude of 3,500 meters, a 350-kilometer range, and a flight time of approximately three and a half hours. SmartDigital Group has thus secured one of the market’s most innovative and technically best-equipped UAS.

The 35-kg payload and modular interfaces allow quick, uncomplicated switching between different sensors (camera systems). This makes the Anavia HT-100 ideal for performing aerial imaging and inspection services, even in challenging environments such as narrow mountain passes. Due to its high stability, ED-Dragon 01 is suitable for use in adverse weather conditions. In the event of natural disasters or accidents, rapid reconnaissance can be carried out aerially. This allows for an accurate assessment of the situation and targeted and resource-saving inspection of infrastructure facilities. The Austrian digital UAS aviation pioneer Eurodragons, a SmartDigital Group subsidiary, operates the drone fleet.

SmartDigital Group and Anavia expand cooperation

At the handover of the VTOL UAS, both companies presented further plans for future cooperation. “The offer from SmartDigital Group includes automated data processing using the AI-based service delivery platform ARCA© in a continuous end-to-end process and the implementation of flights in BVLOS mode (Beyond Visual Line of Sight). Thus, it is an optimal application for our lightweight VTOL system. We look forward to continuing to collaborate on advancing digital transformations of critical infrastructures in the future by merging our cutting-edge technologies,” said Jon Andreas Jörg, CEO of Anavia.

“Anavia’s expertise has convinced us,” said Matthias Fiegl, CCO of SmartDigital Group, regarding the intensified further cooperation. “We will be working closely with the producer in the future and have already planned joint trade fair appearances outside Europe in order to convince these markets of our portfolio. As a concrete next step, we will continue expanding our fleet and soon receive our second VTOL system from Anavia.”

Automated data collection in BVLOS flight


SmartDigital Group has high expectations from the new UAS and is already working on expanding its existing product portfolio. Currently, the company offers end-to-end processes to customers, who are primarily based in the critical infrastructure sector. These range from data collection by means of long-range flights (BVLOS) to automated data processing with the AI-based (artificial intelligence) platform ARCA© to evaluate and exploit this data.

For the recordings with ED-Dragon 01 there is now a wide range of payloads available, such as optical cameras, multispectral and infrared cameras, and laser scanners. As an example, flyovers of infrastructure can be digitally recorded, georeferenced, and made accessible for further processing.

Infrastructure operators can use drone data collection quickly and easily for planning, inventory, condition control, and incident resolution. This enables targeted and predictive maintenance work, resulting in shorter durations of repairs and construction sites through more efficient and economical processes. This increases the operator’s existing capacity. Digital twins, for example, can simplify plant planning and maintenance work, or IoT triggers can inform about possible damage.

Jon Andreas Jörg, CEO of Anavia: “With the autonomously flying drone HT-100 and its innovative technology, such as a powerful turbine and an energy-efficient double Flettner rotor, we claim to have one of the world’s most modern VTOL systems in our portfolio. That is why reliability and versatility are particularly important to us. With our UAS, SmartDigital Group has brought state-of-the-art high-tech to their company that is ideally suited to meet their various requirements for a UAS.”

Media Contact for SmartDigital-Gruppe:

Georg Strasser, Tel.: +43 676 3045422, E-Mail:

Media Contact for Anavia AG:

Johannes Krick, Tel.: +41 79 661 46 98, E-Mail:

Agency Contact:

Helmut Spudich, everything media, Tel. +43 676 7785666, E-Mail:

About SmartDigital Group – Platform Services & UAS Solutions

Founded in 2017 and headquartered in Tulln (Lower Austria), SmartDigital Group is an innovative, Austrian high-tech company specializing in digitalizing critical infrastructure such as rail, energy, and road. Through a combination of data collection with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAS, Unmanned Aircraft System), fusion with other external data sources, and an Artificial Intelligence- based IoT-supported platform, it succeeds in digitizing critical infrastructure. From planning to inventory, maintenance and condition monitoring, labor-, cost- and time-intensive processes can be automated and optimized.

The company has developed the service delivery platform ARCA©, which can process any data from sensors on land, sea, air, or other databases in a tamper-proof blockchain using artificial intelligence in an end-to-end automated process. This enables infrastructure operators to document their data and business processes and to be able to provide complete and tamper-proof evidence of everything from demand generation to reporting and billing.

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ANAVIA specializes in the design, development & manufacturing of vertical takeoff & landing (VTOL) systems of up to 500 kilograms. The company offers industry-leading unmanned helicopter systems for various mission profiles, such as Surveillance & Reconnaissance, Inspection or Mapping & Cargo. ANAVIA recently spun off from its mother company to fully focus on the unmanned helicopter business and further expand its aerospace product offering. The company is a unique coming together of the most experienced minds in the field of aircraft development, including lightweight aerospace carbon solutions, all sharing the same passion – to redefine the future of unmanned aircraft technology. The company is headquartered in Switzerland and enjoys a reputation as a groundbreaking innovation company bearing the “Made in Switzerland” seal as an emblem of uncompromising quality. Sales Offices, Distribution Centers & Service Facilities will be available on every continent to ensure the highest level of customer support & services to customers.


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