DHL just validate the feasibility of a delivery service of drone in the North Sea. His parcelcopter conducted a first delivery of drugs between the coastal village of Norddeich and the island of Juist. A dozen km through 45 minutes of flight for the second version of the drone of DHL delivery. This project of delivery of drugs, initiated in December 2013, comes from a new decisive step before a commercial launch with delivery beyond the field of vision of the operator. Deutsche Post, owner of DHL, has however still not delivered the date of commissioning of the service of delivery of a new type.
A fully automatic flight, under supervision
DHL advance step by step. After a first test to Bohn flight where a drone had delivered some drugs a side to the other of the Rhine, the subsidiary of Deutsche Post has launched version 2 of its drone quadricoptere above the North Sea. This one, with a weight of 5 kg, can remove a load of only 1.2 kg, but he was able to cross the 12 km that separate the island of Juist Norddeich. The drone itself was provided by Microdrones Gmbh, which has especially designed the aerodynamic waterproof container that contains the payload.
Big means mobilized for a single flight
The innovation of the project lies in the van that accompanies the drone and that contains its control computers. RWTH AAchen University has worked with DHL to fully automate the flight. Researchers have literally recreated a control tower in the DHL van. At big ways for a single delivery of medicines because the drone remains placed under the watchful eye of an operator which can regain control in an emergency. During the demonstration, two people were mobilized for this flight, not to mention the complicity of pharmacist to the arrival which should retrieve the package likely to reload the drone, because the theoretical independence of the MD4-1000 drone is less than the 90 minutes of a round-trip flight.
Source : “DHL parcelcopter launches initial operations for research purposes”, Communiqué Deutsche Post, Septembre 24, 2014