Flying in Misool with the ALTI Ascend!

There are many beautiful and special places, but none as quite as beautiful or special as Misool, a very remote part of Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia.

With the most bio-diverse marine life on planet earth, Misool is home to the world’s richest reefs, teaming with life with over 2000 reef fish species and 800 coral species, along with a wide variety of sharks and rays, the most iconic of which being the Manta Ray.


The Misool foundation, along with Misool Eco Resort, has established a marine protected area and no-take zone, over 1200 square km, where absolutely no fishing is allowed. This is the first of its kind in the area and has been crucial to the survival of the world’s last untouched reefs.

“There is greater biodiversity — that is to say, a larger number and greater diversity of fish, coral, and molluscs — on these reefs than anywhere on earth. A single football field-sized patch of Misool’s reefs has nearly five times the number of coral species as the entire Caribbean Sea.”

– Words from world renowned coral reef ecologist, Dr. Mark Erdmann / Ph.D.

Mark Atkinson, General Manager of Misool Eco Resort, contacted ALTI in December of 2016 regarding using our aircraft to assist their conservation and anti-poaching efforts in Misool.


ALTI got involved right away and has been working with Misool for the last 3 years to create a long-term UAV program and has just returned from a second trip, where Duran and Mark did the very first flights in Misool using the ALTI Ascend!

This was an incredibly challenging project in terms of flying long-range fixed-wing drones as there is absolutely no space for traditional take-off or landings.


There are thousands of islands scattered across over 1200 square kilometers, all of which covered in thick jungle and sharp jagged rocks with only tiny beaches here and there, none large enough for a fixed wing UAV to operate from.

“Having the ability to take-off and land vertically is the key to what makes this project possible, we simply cannot operate anything else.Multi-rotors do not have anywhere near enough range or endurance, and traditional fixed wing only systems are not an option. But with our VTOL aircraft, we can take-off from a very small area, and I mean really small, and land, safely, allowing us to cover the entire area with endurance up to 6 hours on the ALTI Ascend and well over 10 hours on the ALTI Transition

– says Duran, ALTI’s director and owner.

With the serious space limitations and rugged terrain, high temperatures and humidity along with challenging conditions and environments, there are currently no other options to assist with aerial patrols.


ALTI offers the best solution for long range, reliable and efficient systems, advanced cameras, command and control systems and more, allowing Misool to continue their incredible conservation work.

Duran has recently returned from a very successful visit to Misool, doing the very first flights, which is also a world’s first in the area!

“This is a long term project for ALTI, working with Misool, I’m incredibly passionate about this, and the work Mark and his team are doing, if we can assist in saving the last untouched reef along with sharks, mantas and thousands of other species, that’s what counts, and doing it using our aircraft is why we do what we do every day!”

– Duran De Villiers – ALTI

Stay tuned for more news and updates from Misool and ALTI – and this special project!