Today, parcel delivery is usually done.couriers who are forced to get to customers bypassing numerous traffic jams. Because of this, people can wait for their parcel for several hours or even days, but what would happen if the drones flying in the sky were engaged in the transportation of goods? The experience of Amazon, which has been delivering parcels with drones for several years, shows that customers receive their products several times faster. Unfortunately, the drones she uses are unable to lift more than 3 kilograms, but the U.S. has already developed an apparatus with a payload of up to 225 kilograms.
We already wrote about this flying truck in 2017year. It is being developed by the American company Elroy Air and two years ago, the developers assured that it is capable of lifting up to 70 kilograms of cargo into the air. One battery charge, according to their calculations, should have been enough to overcome 300 kilometers, which for that time was a pretty good indicator. Since then, the developers did not stand still and in August 2019 the device for the first time demonstrated its ability to fly.
How to quickly receive a package?
Externally, the Elroy Air drone looks like a smallpassenger plane. On both sides of its hull are two beams with three propellers for vertical take-off and landing. To move forward, the drone uses an additional, horizontal screw located on the back of the device. The energy of the battery and the power of the hybrid engine (electricity + fuel) are enough to overcome 500 kilometers.
The mass of the drone is 551kilogram. A cargo container mounted under the body can support loads weighing up to 225 kilograms. The developers hope that this is enough to transport large parcels and deliver humanitarian aid to natural disaster sites. It sounds pretty cool considering that the drone is positioned as unmanned. It turns out that he will be able to fly to the right place on his own, without the need for control on the part of man.
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Currently drone Elroy Airtested on the territory of the US National Guard Camp Roberts, which is located in the US state of California. During the first test, the device simply showed that it can fly. Now developers are faced with other, more complex tasks. At a minimum, they have to show us the ability of the device to independently build flight routes and raise the promised 225 kilograms of cargo.
As you can see, while the company can not show somethingtruly amazing. However, the Elroy Air project itself is very interesting and promising. The developers want to finalize the device and release it for commercial use in 2020. It is hoped that he will be as cool as they describe him. If this is true, then our parcels from the same Aliexpress will reach us not in a couple of months, but in a maximum of a few weeks. Sounds tempting, right?
This is interesting: What happens if a drone collides with an airplane?
What is VTOL?
Only a little perplexing is the fact that many mediacalled Elroy Air drone. If we take into account the design with the presence of a pushing propeller in the back of the hull, the drone is more likely an airplane with vertical take-off and landing. You should also consider the presence of an engine running both on electricity and on liquid fuel - this is typical for airplanes, and not for drones.
Typical vertical take-off aircraft shownin the image above is the Yak-141. It is able to take off and land at zero speed, using the thrust of a vertical engine. Perhaps in the future passengers of this type of aircraft will be transported. One of the British companies is already developing a vertical take-off business jet.
Mandatory reading: Why do not we fly on airplanes with vertical take-off and landing?
Finally, let's discuss what other purposes can I use an air truck? Write your assumptions in the comments, and even better - in our Telegram chat.