DHL Parcelcopter Delivers the (Medical) Goods

Dean Sigler Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Vertical Daily News this morning reports on the DHL Parcelcopter 4.0 as it delivers medicines to an island in Lake Victoria on the northern tip of Tanzania.  The Parcelcopter is a fourth generation design from Wingcopter, a German drone manufacturer.  It’s found delivering packages autonomously in German mountain demonstrations and now in differently rugged terrain, flying life-saving packages to a remote island. With financial help from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ – The German Society for International Cooperation ) GmbH ( on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), DHL and Wingcopter have flown a total of 1,367 miles (2,200 kilometers) and about 2,000 flight minutes in a six-month trial.  The 37-mile (60-kilometer) flights …

Autonomous Drones Air-Drop Medical Supplies

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Zipline, a San Francisco-based startup, has partnered with the government of Rwanda to air-drop medical supplies to remote villages, truly a potential life-saver for many without immediate access to medicine or blood for transfusions. Several firms in America have promised delivery of consumer items using drones, with Flirtey’s quadrotor drone delivering “a package that included bottled water, emergency food and a first aid kit” to an uninhabited residential setting in Hawthorne, Nevada on April 7. Flirtey calls the flight “the first fully autonomous, FAA-approved urban drone delivery in the United States.” Another firm, Matternet, displayed its quadrotor delivery systems five years ago at the Green Flight Challenge Expo held at NASA Ames Research Center following the completion of the flying …

Flying Donkeys – A New Cargo Paradigm

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Richard Glassock, of eight-seat, self-launching, sight-seeing sailplane fame, alerted your editor to a different kind of challenge in Africa that could expand the use of drones for positive outcomes. An earlier and ongoing effort to provide “last mile” delivery of small, high-value items such as medicines and electronics to remote villages came from Matternet, a Palo Alto, California based group whose slogan, “Lifting the Rising Billion,” refers to its aspirations to deliver necessities in Africa, but was first demonstrated in Haiti in August and September of 2012. Here they fulfill a mission to Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, at a camp that was set up after the 2010 earthquake. The crowding, seen from overhead, would make expeditious travel through this camp almost impossible …

Matters of Note for the Green Flight Expo

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

One humanitarian business organization that will display at the Green Flight Expo following the completion of that seven-day event uses the type of technology the CAFE Foundation espouses for carrying medicines and supplies to remote parts of the third world that otherwise do not easily permit transport of any kind. Matternet’s slogan, “Lifting the Rising Billion” refers to those living primarily in Africa and is explained in their statement of belief.  “By increasing the access to reliable transportation for people living in poverty, we will enable them to find a sustainable path out of poverty. “We will connect people from geographically isolated communities to local and global markets through the Matternet.”  This credo applies to poor communities throughout the world, …