Europe canes America in drone delivery race

One hundred and thirty deliveries! Yep 130, not just delivered but done automatically over a three month period in all sorts of weather.

Well done DHL, I wonder whats inside?

Views: 2653

Comment by Jerry Giant on May 11, 2016 at 1:47am

it will be remarkable on aviation history.

Comment by Paul Meier on May 11, 2016 at 3:54am

Very nice airframe to top it all

Comment by Hellcat74 on May 11, 2016 at 5:08am

Amazon.... oh I mean amazing!!

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on May 11, 2016 at 5:53am

Nice airframe.  I disagree your other comments that SLT is the way to go.  Carrying around all that weight and drag that only gets used for short period of time.

The performance of this one however, 2kg for 8.3 km?  That's kinda weak.  Not sure if that's as good as it gets, or it was just a short haul test.  I'm not sure why you'd bother with an airplane for such a short distance.  You could even do that with quadcopter.

I do really want to know if this thing is using cyclic pitch on the rotors during the hover phase.  There is enough room in those pods, and I can't see any other reason why they would have such large spinners otherwise, or the obviously articulated propeller grips.  If it does have cyclic pitch, it seems they took great care during the video to never show them articulating.  Why?  Just protecting secrets?  If they are using cyclic pitch, then one of the few points against helicopters (complexity, service) is negated, because this thing has not one, but two CP mechanisms.

Comment by Vladimir "Lazy" Khudyakov on May 11, 2016 at 7:12am

all sorts of weather

What exactly? :) 

I did not find a detailed description of the conditions in which specific flights took place. Only common words.
I personally do not believe that this thing will fly in windy weather. And even more to perform landing on a square 3x3 meters

Comment by Gary Mortimer on May 11, 2016 at 7:22am

@Rob I knew if I put out the bait I could catch you ;-)

Comment by MarcS on May 11, 2016 at 7:25am

It reads:  "A total of 130 autonomous loading and offloading cycles were ultimately performed."


Not saying flights...

Rob, regarding the plane, here is more Information (this was the development project for it):

I think no collective, but an additional ducted fan (you can see it in the Video...)

Comment by James Wright on May 11, 2016 at 9:28am

I think they're using variable pitch props!

On a larger scale aircraft such as this it's pretty vital, fixed pitch is very inefficient if compromising between hovering and forwards flight. The props are large because this thing is heavy - max takeoff weight being 14kg! 

Notice they are also using an EDF in the back for pitch, so it's somewhat like a tricopter, though I'd imagine for yaw they tilt the wings asymmetrically. This leads me to believe they're not using cyclic.

I heard the flight time is pretty bad though! Even so I think this is an excellent achievement! 

Interestingly it supports swarming! They seem to be using an LTE for most of the coms, telemetry and such, and then an independent RC link. For the swarming they communicate with eachother via wifi, so I imagine the swam is ran like a LAN network connected to the internet via LTE!


Comment by James Wright on May 11, 2016 at 9:31am

Turns out they are using the ailerons for yaw control, I reckon the tilting wings much be on one axis - would make sense actually. 

Comment by Hugues on May 11, 2016 at 11:13am

Nice but remains more of a marketing/lobbying experiment than a reality in production. Indeed as long as European countries forbid any kind of package transport via drones , it will remain a nice tehcnological test.


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