Ryse Ultralight Closer to Production

Ryse Recon Ultralight Aircraft Seen at Farm Show Now Moves Toward Production

Joel Reichenberger
By  Joel Reichenberger , Progressive Farmer Senior Editor
The Ryse Recon ultralight aircraft is moving towards production and reservations for the first of the production models produced from its Ohio facility. (DTN photo by Joel Reichenberger)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. (DTN) -- The Ryse Aero Technologies Recon turned heads when it debuted at farm shows last summer and the ultralight aircraft, partially being targeted at the agriculture industry, hasn't flown away in the months since.

In fact, the company is now taking orders for its first production models, 400 of which it hopes to deliver this year.

"We've made huge strides since then," Ryse CEO Mick Kowitz said.

Ryse kicked off 2023 with an appearance at January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where Kowitz said the craft flew 40 times and in front of 40,000 people, prompting the launch of the company's reservation system for its first commercial offering, the Recon ultralight aircraft.

The Recon is meant to be, in the words of Kowitz, an aerial ATV, though it looks like a common DJI aerial camera drone upsized dramatically to transport a human.

When first presented to the ag community last summer, it was pitched as a way for a farmer or rancher to do everything from survey the crops to get around the property to fix a fence or help a cow, anything within about 10 or, at most, 12 miles of the launch point and a 250-pound limit.

The Scout hasn't been able to demonstrate that kind of capability at its public shows so far, where it's been contained to relatively small display spaces and, Kowitz said, restricted by insurance company concerns. The company has stretched its machine's legs at a 3,000-acre farm outside Wilmington, Ohio, however, and plans to offer more robust public demonstrations this spring and summer.

"We go fly for miles at a clip. We're flying at high speed and high altitudes, crossing roads," Kowitz said. "We're going to do flying days, we're going to go and let people take it for test drives, and actually fly it out through Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Iowa."


The focus for the machine is broader than just agriculture. The company hopes to tap into other industries, such as oil and gas mining, land management, personal security and, perhaps, a certain segment of sport and leisure.

"We did talk about the sport and recreation use, camping, and how cool it would be if your campsite was by a lake that you can take this thing up and go fly over the lake, maybe you want to chart some new courses, or look over some vista," Kowitz said.

The production model of the aircraft won't look much different than the model demonstrated so far, though there were changes made to the touchscreen.

"We made it a little more like an ATV. It used to be more like an aircraft because we're aircraft guys, but sitting with farmers, we realized they need the screen to be more like an ATV. It has simple cues to 'land now' or 'you're good to go.' We simplified a lot of that operation. What we found was when people who weren't pilots got in, they weren't looking at the screen at all. They were looking out. So, we added a complete Bluetooth system into the helmet so you'll get all the messages in your ear."

The Recon is expected to retail starting at $150,000 per unit. The company hopes to produce 400 vehicles this year, then 1,000 in 2024. It currently builds them in Mason, Ohio, outside Cincinnati, but looks to expand to a facility capable of producing 3,000 units a year.

The reservation system is available at the company's site and doesn't require a deposit or commitment. There were about 100 on the list in February and the hope is to have the first orders ship by the fall.

Joel Reichenberger can be reached at Joel.Reichenberger@dtn.com

Follow him on Twitter @JReichPF

Joel Reichenberger