Royal Mail Wants 500 Drones to Carry Mail to UK Communities
The British international postal service and courier firm - Royal Mail, expects around 200 drone services in the next three years for carrying the mail on 50 novel routes - the Shetland Islands, Hebrides, Isles of Scilly, and the Orkney Islands are the first to benefit. The new services require approval from the CAA and state that these routes will depend on the continuing planned enhancement in Autonomous Aerial Vehicle economics. The company has been testing the leverage of drones for some time, with the most recent demo held in April on the Shetland Islands.
Fly in Fog
Firms are targeting to deliver to the door, with unmanned drones hauling down packages of goods from hovering vehicles. However, the drone plan to leverage doesn't have the potential to balance and won't be replacing the mail carrier on their rounds. The drones are big, 32.8ft wingtip-to-wingtip, ranging 621 miles and carrying around 22lb. Two internal combustion engines power them.
The drones were created to deliver help in Africa, said the head of drone trails at Royal Mail - Chris Paxton. He said they are very much like a small plane, and the only noticeable difference is that there is no pilot on board. These drones can take off in a short space and land in a similar place, provided the area is flat enough.
The company argues that drones tend to minimize carbon emissions, and Drone-makers Windracers said they generate 30% fewer emissions than piloted flights. The drones are also less likely to get impacted by bad weather. Mr. Paxton says the drones can fly in fog as there is no need for the pilot to see where they're headed, and as they're flying rather than going on the sea, the idea of relying on tides can be neglected.
License to Fly
For the drone courier services to be successful, the planned routes will need approval from the CAA. The authority said that the drones were in the early stages of discussion with the company regarding its plans. Besides the company, a limited number of delivery trials done by drones are taking place in the country.
In 2021, a firm - Skyports, started carrying Covid test samples and other medical resources between medical facilities. In general, the CAA says drone delivery trials are either limiting different planes' access to the airspace where drones are flying or drones sharing the flight with others in a very controlled way.
While there is a plan to augment the leverage of drones, the CAA says a merge of novel tech and more equipment in aircraft to identify and avoid them are required, along with the safety check trials.