Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) revealed its new drone called the Condor that is capable of carrying weights up to 180kg (396lbs) and travel distances of up to 150km with a full load of cargo.
The new drone was shown off at an event in downtown Toronto on February 19th. The company’s other drones were also on display as well its mission control-esque FLYTE system.
The showstopper was the six-metre (22-feet) long gas powered Condor drone. It’s the size of a small helicopter and looks like one too. The drone has a large storage compartment located where you’d expect a pilot to sit.
DDC is also working on a larger version of the Condor that can fit a pallet full of supplies and it should be ready around the company’s 3rd quarter this fall.
Drone Delivery Canada has been working on the Condor for about a year already, and the company suspects that it will have the drone certified and ready for use by the end of Q2 in the summer.
The Condor is the DDC’s largest drone, and that’s why it was switched from electric to gas power. The company discovered that the Condor would be too heavy if it used battery power. Therefore to justify the vehicle’s use as a cargo drone DDC went with a gas engine that weighs much less than the batteries.
For comparison, the smaller Falcon drone has about 45 kg (100 pounds) of battery, and it can only carry five cubic feet of cargo.
Because the Condor is gas powered, it can carry more fuel if it’s not loaded with cargo to increase its range.
The company’s FLYTE control system is what allows pilots to operate the drones. The system enables DDC’s operators to see where the drones are in the sky; if they’re likely to encounter bad weather, fly into other objects in the air and the drone’s route.
Real people still run the system, but the company did hint that it’s working with the Canadian Defense Research and Development Canada and researchers at the University of Toronto on forms of autonomous drone operations.
The Condor isn’t the only new project on the horizon for DDC. The company is also building a new 16,000 square foot centre in Vaughn to base 25 drone pilots and begin ramping up the company’s commercial operations. The company plans to finish it by the end of the second quarter and it will be fully staffed by the end of Q3.
Overall, the company is ramping up its operations as more regulations come into place and the company can get more of its drones certified to deliver products to Canadians.
The company also thinks that it could have operational drones delivering products in locations as big as Barrie, Ontario in around three years.
Source: Drone Delivery Canada