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Home   Thanet   News   Article

Aerial drones firm Tentech Ltd launches in Chilmington Green, near Ashford, making and selling unmanned flying craft used by photographers

24 January 2014
by Tricia Jamieson
Stefan Mirfin has set up a new business making and selling drones

Stefan Mirfin has set up a new business making and selling drones

They may be the thing of spy movies, but according to Stefan Mirfin, drones are an emerging business market.

He has just opened his own company, Tentech Ltd, in Ashford making and selling drones – unmanned aerial vehicles – along with 3D printers and products he makes from them.

Mr Mirfin, 39, who lives in Woodchurch, branched out when he got busier and busier as a freelance electrical engineer.

“I was repairing multi-rotor machines and decided I needed more space, a workshop and a shop,” he said. “It just grew and grew.”

Tentech Ltd is based at New Street Farm, Chilmington Green, and is run by Mr Mirfin, helped by his partner
Caelia Butcher.

The drones he makes range in size from micro ones to a metre-and-a-half diameter and cost from £50 to £30,000.

He sells them to hobbyists and professionals, mainly photographers and videographers who use them for filming.

“With the 3D printer, I can make any additions they want,” said Mr Mirfin. “We kit the drones out with their cameras or whatever is needed, so we are a one-stop shop.

“Drones are an emerging market and the technology is changing all the time. I have got busier and busier.”

Stefan Mirfin and Celia Butcher have set up Tentech Ltd, a new business making and selling drones

Stefan Mirfin and Celia Butcher have set up Tentech Ltd, a new business making and selling drones

Stories last year about online giant Amazon using drones to deliver parcels ring true with Mr Mirfin.

“I can see that happening,” he said. “Amazon would set up hot hubs in busy areas of high traffic, and send deliveries out from distribution centres.

“It was done in Hong Kong until it fell foul of air space regulations.”

Drones are battery operated and mostly radio controlled but Mr Mirfin said they could be programmed to work on GPS systems.

Stefan Mirfin has set up a new business making and selling drones

Stefan Mirfin has set up a new business making and selling drones

Like boomerangs, they always come back to base.

“The usual time for them to be in the air is between 25 and 30 minutes,” he said. “If someone has very expensive camera gear on one, they don’t want it in the air for long.”

Tentech does not hire out drones, but the company will rent out its services.

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