At Hamilton, the H pretty much stands for “heavy.” So you can bet we’re keeping an eye on the Chinese market, where many companies are testing civilian drones that can carry a ton or more of cargo. Here are a few highlights:
- China’s drone newcomer Tengoen Technology is building an eight-engine drone that can carry a payload of 20 tons up to 4,660 miles. That’s about as big as a medium-sized manned cargo plane.
- Chinese e-commerce platform JD.com has an extra-heavy lift drone in the works designed to carry cargo of up to 5 tons continuously for more than 600 miles.
- Beihang Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is currently testing drones that carry cargo weighing up to 1.5 tons—the equivalent of a sports car. Their delivery drones will be able to fly a distance of approximately 1,000 miles while carrying a one-ton payload.
- Beihang UAS, a spin-off from Beihang University in Beijing, is also developing a multiple-use water landing drone that will be able to fly 1,200 miles carrying up to 1.5 tons of cargo.
- China’s largest publicly listed courier, SF Express, has developed a 32-foot-long drone with a wingspan of 65 feet that can carry 1.2 tons of cargo over 1,800 miles.
China has an advantage in the drone delivery game not just for its advanced drone technology and infrastructure, but because of the market demand—the country has millions of consumers living in remote, hard-to-access areas.
Let’s get those Hamilton Caster delivery drones started asap...