Transport Canada has granted Drone Delivery Canada approval to test its Robin X1400 cargo delivery drone in Canadian skies.
Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) has received a SFOC (Special Flight Operations Certificate) from Transport Canada to test a drone with a commercial payload of 25lbs.
"The Robin X1400 is now fully integrated with DDC’s proprietary FLYTE management system and is capable of both larger payloads and greater flight ranges, of up to 60kms. Flight testing will commence in the second week of August, 2018," DDC announced.
The Robin X1400 (formerly the Raven X1400), will utilise a “dual payload deployment system” designed for static and tethered cargo deployments. “DDC believes the tethered deployment system is the future for delivery in urban settings. With the tethered solution, the drone never lands. It simply deploys its payload by tether while hovering above at a height of approximately 100 feet in the air”.
“The Robin, with its 25lbs payload capacity and DDC’s new tethered cargo deployment system is an excellent addition to our expanding drone fleet offering yet another option to customers both in Canada, and abroad,” commented Tony Di Benedetto, CEO. “We wish to thank Transport Canada for allowing us to continue to expand our platforms capabilities with the granting of the SFOC (Special Flight Operations Certificate).”
25lbs might not sound like a lot in the world of container shipping, but in a 2013 article in Forbes magazine Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said 86% of products the company delivers weigh 5 pounds or less. DDC also has its eye on larger capacity drones, including a version called Condor with a 400lb payload.
While most of the focus on the US is on drones for delivering consumer items, Canada has an interest in seeing larger capacity drones developed to service remote communities that currently rely on air freight and seasonal winter roads for supplies.