A prototype "parcelcopter" of German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL flies at 100m above ground, its maximum approved height, in Bonn (REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay)
German postal and logistics group Deutsche Post DHL has tested its parcelcopter, airborne drone designed to deliver goods in lesser time to faraway places.
The drone costs 40,000 Euros (£33,400) and can carry packages up to 1.2 kg (2.65 pounds). It is powered by an electric motor and can locate the delivery place through GPS coordinates. The maximum approved height of flying for the drone is 100m.
The first test flight of the unmanned drone was carried out in Bonn. During the test, the parcelcopter (also nicknamed Paketkopter or packet copter) flew a few packets of medicines.
According to DHL’s spokesperson Thomas Kutsch, the test flights will continue this week to check the functioning of the technology. He said that there was no plan as of yet to start the aerial deliveries, local media reported.
A flock of pigeons flies with DHL paketkopter in Bonn. (Reuters)
DHL paketkopter flies in front of the company's headquarters in Bonn. (Reuters)
Deutsche Post DHL’s yellow coloured drone joins Amazon which is testing drones for deliveries. In early December, the online retailer began testing its remote-controlled drones to deliver orders to customers.
Amazon’s drones are designed to carry packages weighing up to 2.25kg and the service is to be called Prime Air. Amazon claims that the delivery system aims at getting packages into customers' hands in 30 minutes or less.
Both DHL parcelcopter and Amazon Prime Air service have sought approval from their local aviation authorities to start flying.
“Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance the technology and wait for the necessary FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) rules and regulations,” Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement, adding that FAA's rules will be in place as early as sometime in 2015.
“From a technology point of view, we'll be ready to enter commercial operations as soon as the necessary regulations are in place. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is actively working on rules for unmanned aerial vehicles,” he said.
Microdrone pilot Daniel Knoche poses with the prototype of a paketkopter. (Reuters)
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