Startup by air from San Francisco is developing an unmanned cargo drones that can carry up to 70 pounds a distance of up to 300 kilometers. According to the developers, their offspring will allow to solve problems with the delivery of humanitarian aid and parcels to remote areas and can be a good alternative small drones, often requiring repair and is unable to fly such a long distance.
While Amazon patented a variety of ideas related to the delivery of small aircraft, other software companies UAV think globally: not every shipment can fit in the cargo Bay miniature aircraft. The big drone is quite capable to cope with the task. In addition, small and lightweight drone can easily break, whereas to a large machine vandals will be afraid even to approach.
The drone by Air is called the Aluminum Falcon and its size reaches the size of a small airplane. According to the calculations of developers, the speed of the drone can reach 160 kilometers per hour. The prototype device is equipped with lidar, cameras and other sensors that will provide him a safe and quick flight to your destination. Aluminum Falcon is equipped with a hybrid engine and is able to vertically take off and land.
One of the key features Aluminum Falcon is that not only the drone, but the shipping container will be equipped with artificial intelligence program that will allow him to make a “smart boot” and take off only after the cargo Bay is completely filled. After delivering all packages, the drone will get out of the hold signal and return to base.
Able to cover a distance of 300 kilometers will allow the Aluminum Falcon is not to compete with truckers, safely carrying loads on short distances through the air. In addition, the relatively small size does not affect the ability of the UAV to move in the air over the city — thanks to its Aluminum Falcon AI will be able to easily maneuver between the skyscrapers, trees and wires.
A full working prototype, the developers plan to submit by the summer of 2018, and after a couple years of testing I hope to start mass production.