Germany-based urban air mobility solutions (UAM) company Volocopter has successfully completed the first public flight demonstration of its electric heavy-lift drone, VoloDrone. The three-minute test flight was planned in collaboration with logistics company DB Schenker to showcase how delivery drones can be integrated into the logistics supply chain for end-to-end cargo transport.
The VoloDrone is an uncrewed, fully electric utility drone designed to carry any of the six International Organization for Standardization (ISO) pallet sizes, weighing up to 200 kilograms, over a 40-kilometer range. Its first public flight was conducted on Tuesday at the ITS World Congress event in Hamburg.
How drones feature in electric, multimodal last-mile delivery
The flight took off shortly after 3 p.m. and reached a maximum altitude of 22 meters. To give onlookers a better idea of how delivery drones would operate in the future, VoloDrone was equipped with a Euro-pallet-size load box in between its landing gear.
The aircraft brought the payload to a DB Schenker Cargo Bike and landed safely. Once the payload was transferred successfully, the Cargo Bike delivered its cargo to the final destination under the area’s park deck, marking the completion of the entirely electric, multimodal last-mile delivery.
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Watch the first public flight of Volocopter’s heavy-lift drone, VoloDrone
Stressing that Volocopter is the only UAM company offering solutions for passengers and goods that are flying fully scaled and publicly around the world, company CEO Florian Reuter says:
This first public VoloDrone flight is a strong sign for Volocopter’s leading position in the UAM industry. Our VoloDrone will make existing logistics processes more robust, efficient, and sustainable.
It’s worth pointing out that VoloDrone’s first flight took place in 2019. Since then, regular flight tests have been conducted at various airfields in Germany. In the future, VoloDrone operations will be fully electric with autonomous beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) capabilities.
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