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DJI’s Delivery Drone is Massive with a 40 kg Payload Capacity

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Everybody stand back! There’s a new delivery drone in town and it’s big, smart and fast. Drone leader DJI has announced one of its latest aircraft, the FlyCart 30 (FC30) will be available globally later this year.

This isn’t a direct competitor to an outfit like Wing, which delivers small consumer products to the public. This is is more like a utility drone for construction and remote work.

The maximum FC30 payload is 40kg

In its dual-battery configuration, the FC30 can an carry a 30 kg payload 16 km with a top speed of 72 kph. It does this thanks to a coaxial four-axis, eight-blade, multi-rotor configuration with carbon fibre propellers. In its emergency single-battery configuration, the payload capacity increases to 40 kg for a distance of 8 km.

The FC30 also has a ‘dual operator’ mode. This is pretty cool. Dual Operator mode allows control to be transferred between two pilots in different locations with the press of a button. This allows delivery in areas with big blind spots, like the other side of a mountain. With a pilot on each side of the obstruction, dual operator allows for a safe handoff to a pilot in a better position. You can see it in action in the video above.

Dual Operator mode allows control to be transferred between two pilots in different locations

Helping to make sure your delivery gets to where it needs to go, DJI O3 transmission maintains a stable connection between the drone and remote controllers up to 20 km away. DJI DeliveryHub organises aerial delivery with operation planning, status monitoring, centralised team resource management, and data collection and analysis. It also supports live viewing through the drone’s high resolution FPV gimbal camera.

DJI Pilot 2 powers manual flight, and displays real-time flight status, cargo status, and more for safe and efficient operation. In extreme weather or other abnormalities, DJI Pilot 2 alerts operators of risks and supports alternate landing site management. DJI DeliveryHub and FC30 support integration with external cloud platforms or payloads, enabling adaptation to a wide range of industry-specific applications.

The FC30 can deploy a parachute

The FC30 has a number of safety features and built-in redundancies. Before takeoff, it evaluates flight route viability based on environmental conditions, and ensures pre-takeoff safety through audio-visual prompts and by delaying propeller launch. During flight, the dual active phased array radar and binocular vision systems enable all-weather multidirectional intelligent obstacle sensing, day or night. The built-in ADS-B signal receiver gives timely warning of nearby crewed aircraft. In a serious emergency, the FC30 can deploy a parachute at low attitudes and land the drone stably, protecting people and property on the ground.

Pretty impressive stuff.

“From agriculture to construction management and surveying, DJI’s industrial-grade drones have transformed industries by improving safety for workers and productivity for businesses,” said   Christina Zhang, Senior Director of Corporate Strategy at DJI.

“We are optimistic that FlyCart 30 will become a trusted solution for aerial delivery, solving complex terrain and terminal transportation problems efficiently, economically, and most importantly, safely from the air.”

The FC30 has IP55 protection, can operate in temperatures ranging from -20° to 45° C (-4° to 122° F), and can fly in winds up to 12 m/s. The standard propellers are optimised for altitudes from 0-6,000 m and support flight up to 3,000 m with a 30 kg payload. Self-heating batteries maintain optimal performance even in low temperatures.

The FC30 also has a winch option

In Cargo mode, payloads are placed in a 70-litre case that features weight and centre-of-gravity sensors to improve balance and safety. In winch mode, payloads are carried by a winch crane for delivery to areas without convenient landing sites.

The FC30 has a 70-litre case for cargo

The winch system includes a 20m cable that can manually or automatically retract at 0.8 m/s and can carry 40 kg. AR Projection assists accurate placement of goods by indicating the projected landing point. During flight, FC30 can intelligently adjust its flight attitude, automatically reducing cargo swing.

FC30 folds down for easy transport in a vehicle

Global availability of the FC30 is expected sometime after March this year and it will cost around US$42,000.

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