Heavy Lift Drones: The Holy Grail?

Heavy lift drones are a game- changer for the logistics industry. Numerous manufacturers build drones capable of carrying payloads weighing hundreds of pounds long distances. Right now, the purchasers are early adopters, the ones that must have the technology first. Once the technology becomes more mature, the market should expand, so that more customers are able to afford the technology. Consumers would benefit greatly if goods could be easily delivered by a heavy lift drone, without adding to the congestion on the roadways.

The UK Royal Navy is testing a parasail design by Animal Dynamics, called the Stork STM. This drone is capable of a large payload, 135kg, 300 pounds. The Stork has the potential to be a useful platform for fighting fires. Fire departments are often cash strapped, helicopters are often not available due to cost. Drone like these, with the ability to carry a large amount of water or fire retardant would help departments everywhere. The ability to deploy from a vehicle or work in tandem with other technologies could help firefighters attack fires quickly and refill as needed. 

Designs like this might provide the right capabilities to benefit industries in a wide array of uses.

If drones are not capable of lifting one thousand pounds yet, they will be. Drones carrying around large storage containers could prove to be a disruptor to the moving industry. The promise of these technologies in the future does lead the mind to wonder what could become.

Drone Delivery Canada recently signed a contract with the Canadian government to test their heavy-lift drone capable of carrying payloads up to 400 pounds. 

The Dragonfly heavy lift drone is capable of carrying up to 67 pounds, with a flight time just under one hour. Drones like this look to be highly capable of efficient package delivery. 

Dronamics is looking to take the flying delivery van concept a step further than the competition. The Black Swan drone will be capable of carrying cargo weighing close to 800 pounds for over 1,500 miles. 

Sabrewing has the ultimate solution for air cargo. The drone will be capable of carrying over 5,000 pounds. Heavy lifting drone records are being broken at fast rate, the future could bring about something that will be hard for most people to grasp. The companies that manufacture designs that meet clientele’s demands will be rewarded with large contracts, Sabrewing recently sold 35 of the new craft on preorder.

The heavy lift drone market is not one size fits all. Diverse industries and customers will require different specifications to accomplish their business goals. The payloads that these drones are now capable of delivering are beyond the requirement of most customers. Logistics conglomerates and moving companies might be operating fleets of different drones in the future, all designed for different purposes.

Automation is increasingly creeping into all aspects of our lives. Autonomous drone delivery that can be controlled through a simple laptop will provide corporations the opportunity to maximize profits. Industries across the board are seeing reduced need for employees as robots and other technologies increasingly replace the need for a large workforce. Is it so odd to think that drones might have the same kind of effect?

Many of the companies tackling these challenges are start-ups. Deep-pocketed investors are financing these companies with millions of dollars. The race is on to solve the challenges facing the drone delivery sector. 

Militaries are testing the technology, hoping to find solutions for transporting cargo across difficult terrain and battlefields. Heavy lift drones that effectively solve delivery issues plaguing the industry will be in high demand. It’s pretty much a guarantee at this point that something exciting will be happening in heavy- lift drone manufacturing in the near future, that is if you are not excited already.

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