While his home country faces a volatile, on-the-ground conflict not seen in decades, Heven Drones founder and CEO Bentzion Levinson remains focused on advancing his company’s mission and helping Israeli military forces.
“The technology has been in the making essentially since our inception,” Levinson told FOX News Digital. “This specific aircraft is about a year in development and the characteristics of this aircraft are unique to the company and to the market… It’s amazing to get this feeling of seeing a dream come to life. I think that we’re not even [at] the 1% of our journey as a company.”
On Monday, Heven Drones introduced its latest hydrogen fuel-powered innovation, the H2D200 Series. The drone has the ability to carry payloads up to 10 pounds and can travel up to 510 kilometers or about 317 miles over four hours.
For years, aviation giants like Boeing and Airbus have worked to build emission-free, lightweight drone vehicles – but Heven Drone’s latest series has nearly perfected market production.
FLORIDA CHICK-FIL-A LOCATION LAUNCHES OPTION ON APP TO HAVE FOOD DELIVERED BY DRONE
“Developing aircraft is challenging. These aircraft have to be just as safe as the aircraft that we all fly around the world in,” Levinson noted. “So going through that process, it’s been four-plus years since founding the company, it’s really very satisfying to see these come to life.”
In addition to releasing a groundbreaking new drone series, the Israeli-U.S. citizen and founder has been working with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to assist in the regional conflict that broke out on Oct. 7.
The Heven Drones CEO clarified that the new hydrogen-powered drone series isn’t being used on battlefields yet, but an earlier drone called H100 is. General wartime tasks the drones perform include stealth heavy lifting logistics, robotic and intelligence-gathering functions.
“We have been working very closely with the Israeli Ministry of Defense for the past four years, and I can say that over the past month and a half, our projects probably ten-folded,” Levinson said. “We actually have orders that are exclusive from the Israeli government for hydrogen drones, but they’re not currently ready for operational use yet… We do see these playing a very significant role in Israel’s defense strategy for the years to come.”
Looking ahead to the future of the conflict, Levinson expressed that his primary goal for the drones is to get Israeli soldiers out of harm’s way. While he’s served as an IDF combat commander, about 30% of Heven Drones’ employees have been called to assist with the conflict in Gaza, and 25% remain in active service.
“One of our colleagues got injured in Gaza… he’s in the hospital and recovering,” Levinson said. “It’s also a challenge because on one hand, our demand increased dramatically. So we’re working around the clock, on weekends. On the other hand, we’re working with 30% less [sic] employees, and that became challenging. But the spirit and the resilience here in Israel is really like, whatever it is, you get the job done.”
“We all see either ourselves, our family members out there fighting, and you understand that this war… it’s really about survival,” he continued. “There are terrorists out there saying that they’re going to try this again. So we have no choice. So I think that resilience has helped us push forward as a company and as a nation.”
Levinson has had to overcome hurdles professionally and personally – terrorist threats hit close to home, as his father rescued and survived the 9/11 attacks in New York City, with just 10 minutes to spare before both Twin Towers collapsed.
“On a personal level, you have this feeling that the basic understanding [of] safety and security that you want to feel as human beings, living in a safe country, has been helped,” the HevenDrones founder said of their efforts.
But “demanding” company goals mixed with deep emotion wasn’t easy to navigate, either.
“It’s definitely been a challenge on multiple levels here: for our employees, our board members, our board investors. And importantly, [they’re] giving a lot of support to allow us to push forward as well, also as a company, to support the Israeli government and our country as [sic] this time of need,” he said.
The most important lesson the Israeli entrepreneur has learned in the last two months is that, to accomplish fundamental milestones in the world, you “need to be working with great people and [have] a long-term view.”
“Building and designing this new drone, we actually debated for a while whether we should launch these products now or wait for a different time. We decided that this is the time to push forward,” Levinson said. “We’re here to change the reality of the world and make it a better place.”
“Any significant journey is not going to be easy. And I think that’s part of what makes us strong. We look at where the world is today, I think this technology is needed today more than ever,” he added. “These technologies are so important for us, for defense and also on… the commercial side. [Drones] will really make our lives so much more effective and better and allow us to focus on what we do best as human beings.”
READ MORE FROM FOX BUSINESS
Read the full article here