Science News

Cargo drones for transporting goods over long distances are about to become a reality

Elroy Air, a California start-up, has successfully completed tests related to the first flight of a cargo drone. This is an unmanned aircraft that can carry heavy loads and that could begin to make real deliveries by mid-2020.

This is a sector, that of delivering goods with unmanned vehicles or aircraft, which could be worth hundreds of billions of dollars according to analysts.

Among the various sub-sectors, more and more space is being given to delivery by cargo drones, which could completely revolutionize the entire industry of logistics.

It is precisely in this sector that Elroy is trying to enter, together with other start-ups, using Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft, ie aircraft that take off and land vertically, in this case without even the pilot, and which so they won’t even need a track but just some free space.

Furthermore, those used by Elroy stand out from the crowd because they are not small or medium-sized drones. These are much larger cargo drones, capable of carrying much heavier loads and capable of covering much longer distances.

The company, in any case, hopes, at least initially, to use its first aircraft for the delivery of medical supplies or for the delivery of sensitive material, for example after a disaster or during military missions. However, the same start-up makes it clear that it does not disdain any collaboration with shipping companies such as FedEx or UPS.

The first prototype built by the company, called Chaparral, will be able to carry more than 100 pounds of materials for at least 480 miles.