The largest courier company from China begins to use unmanned "maize" for the transport of goods
Drones, unmanned aerial vehicles - a promising vehicle for courier companies. UAVs can be very different, and the Chinese company SF Express has proven this by starting to operate Feihong 98 devices. They are based on the Y-5B multipurpose biplane, which, in turn, is based on the Soviet An-2, that is, the corncob.
So far, biplanes of this kind work only as test transporters. If the pilot projects prove to be good, they will be put into mass operation, although not before 2023.
Developed by the Chinese drone specialists of the Academy of Aerospace Electronic Technologies of China. According to experts, drones of a new type can be used not only for the delivery of goods, but also for medical transportation, as well as for search and rescue operations.
A positive point in the operation of the Feihong 98 is that they do not need a special high-class runway. And for acceleration, the drone has enough lanes just 150 meters away. Various remote control and autopilot systems are installed on the aircraft; in addition, the device has its own computing system, which makes it easier both to take off and to land.
The maximum take-off weight of the system is 5.3 tons, it is capable of carrying loads of up to 1.5 tons in weight with a volume of no more than 15 cubic meters. The ceiling height for the Chinese biplane is 4.5 thousand meters. And the distance to which he is able to deliver cargo is 1.2 thousand kilometers.
It is worth noting that the multi-purpose "maize" model Y-5 are produced in China under license, since 1968. The design is similar to the base, that is, the An-2, changed only the location of the tanks.
Up to this point, the Chinese AT2000 was also considered to be the largest drone of a transport destination. His first flight tests took place in October last year. The device is made on the basis of the New Zealand aircraft PAC-750 XSTOL. Its maximum take-off weight is 3.4 tons. Freight it can be transported by 1.5 tons. The AT200 reaches speeds of up to 313 kilometers per hour, with flights over a distance of up to 2.2 thousand kilometers.
Perhaps in the near future, other courier companies will use modified aircraft to deliver goods in automatic mode. Thus, the American company Dorsal Aircraft plans to modify the C-130H Hercules transport aircraft so that it can transport regular-sized shipping containers.
Hercules is much more “corncob”, such a drone looks very impressive.
Projects of this kind help obsolete airplanes to avoid write-offs and continue their “career” in another field, where they can work before physical wear and tear.