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A new drone is about to join the emerging delivery drone market. A research showed that delivery drones can lessen the burden on the environment and deliver certain packages faster than trucks, which are responsible for about 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Delivery drone trials have been happening for the last few years, with giants such as Google and Amazon having a crack, alongside smaller companies.
A drone delivery trial taking place in Germany has showcased the benefits of drones as a delivery method, using a drone beyond the visual line of sight (BVLOS) for the duration of the flight, something not normally done. The drone also flew over buildings, powerlines, cars, and even people.
It was the first trial by the delivery drone company Wingcopter in partnership with Merck and Frankfurt University. The company is hoping that the trials they are doing can be a standard for future delivery projects.
The delivery test spanned over 25 km from a Merck lab in Gernsheim, Germany, to the Merck headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany, as reported by dronedj.com.
Wingcopter’s core innovation is its unique tilt-rotor mechanism. It ensures a smooth and robust transition between hovering like a multicopter and flying forward like a plane.
The drone excels in heavy lifting capabilities. It is designed to carry up to 6 kilograms of additional payload, more than 35% of its total weight. It covers great distances of up to 100 kilometers.
While drone delivery has already proven to be a cost-effective and efficient way to transport goods, its adoption has been slow for a few reasons. Drone delivery companies have to ensure the public that if a drone flies above their privacy won’t be compromised. A big issue at the moment is the sound of drones flying above, known to be one of the worst noises. Another large hurdle is the regulations surrounding delivery drones which in most cases don’t exist. Many of the companies are having to work with local authorities to come up with regulations that are suitable and are still beneficial for the companies to deliver by drone.
Google’s Wing Aviation is currently delivering small goods to a select group of neighborhoods in eastern Australia and has operations in the US and Finland. Amazon is testing its delivery drones in the UK and the US, with patents showing up of the drones being able to provide surveillance to customers while delivering their packages.