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Virginia town becomes home to nation’s first drone package delivery service

IanSR

Active member
#2
It means it'll last until one of the following occurs:

Amazon realise that each flight costs way more due to licensing and insurance than the 27p profit they made from the sale and that getting a driver to deliver 15 packages in the same amount of time is way cheaper.

One of these is shot down by the local 2nd amendment advocate and the subsequently refuse to do drone deliveries in that area (much like how now some home delivery companies refuse to deliver to certain areas due to problems in the past).

One of these takes down a light aircraft or helicopter, or crashes en-route due to hardware failure.

Once one of those happens, the fad will be over, my bet is on 1 personally once the bean counters realise how much this is actually costing.
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#3
This is great technology and really cool to see progressing and I am totally for it IF it doesn’t interfere with us hobbyists. If there are restrictions that prohibit me going to a open field and flying a $5 airplane, then that is not good, IMHO. Just my 2 cents.
 

Merv

Well-known member
#4
The porch pirates are going to like this. Just leave a package on the front lawn so they don't have so far to go to pick it up.
 

IanSR

Active member
#5
This is great technology and really cool to see progressing and I am totally for it IF it doesn’t interfere with us hobbyists. If there are restrictions that prohibit me going to a open field and flying a $5 airplane, then that is not good, IMHO. Just my 2 cents.
You'll probably find that already applies in this town. In the UK where drone delivery testing is taking place it's a no fly zone total ban on everything, not even allowed to throw a chuck glider in the area.
 

Ihichi Bolls

Well-known member
#6
Several things are going to kill drone delivery and I hope they happen quickly.

Its only going to be cost effective in very populated areas for one. So small town delivery is only a diversion to create the illusion it can be done safely.

Someone is going to be impatient and try to grab their products while the aircraft is in reach and get hurt thus a huge lawsuit will happen. That or a typical toddler aged child not properly supervised will go "OHHHH shiny lemme go grab it and play with it" and get hurt

Once someone does get hurt other gold seekers will start getting hurt on purpose and the ambulance chasers will up their game with larger lawsuits.

Not so ethical people will find the tech used for these to be worthy of reselling on black markets for parts so the "quad jacking" profession will be born. Order a small cheap thing and when the drone arrives sneak up and toss a blanket over it and disable it.

If it does take root I am sure many towns will ban the over flights on the shear number of complaints for noise with more and more over flights taking place. They don't like when an rc field fly's loud props n motors on weekends let alone 24\7 deliveries going by.

Over all its a severely under thought out idea and the only reason its being allowed to get this far is simple. Greedy politicians taking cash from Amazon and the others for short term gains.

This is what happens when we let our government put a piece of crap corporate lawyer in charge of airspace rather then someone actually involved and knowledgeable of the workings of it.
 

skymaster

Active member
#7
The thing that bother's me is that there are so many people crying out that there are no jobs. and companies are taking these steps to make more money. if people don't have money how are they going to buy their products. technology is good to a certain point.
 

Rclements

Junior Member
#8
Several things are going to kill drone delivery and I hope they happen quickly.

Its only going to be cost effective in very populated areas for one. So small town delivery is only a diversion to create the illusion it can be done safely.

Someone is going to be impatient and try to grab their products while the aircraft is in reach and get hurt thus a huge lawsuit will happen. That or a typical toddler aged child not properly supervised will go "OHHHH shiny lemme go grab it and play with it" and get hurt

Once someone does get hurt other gold seekers will start getting hurt on purpose and the ambulance chasers will up their game with larger lawsuits.

Not so ethical people will find the tech used for these to be worthy of reselling on black markets for parts so the "quad jacking" profession will be born. Order a small cheap thing and when the drone arrives sneak up and toss a blanket over it and disable it.

If it does take root I am sure many towns will ban the over flights on the shear number of complaints for noise with more and more over flights taking place. They don't like when an rc field fly's loud props n motors on weekends let alone 24\7 deliveries going by.

Over all its a severely under thought out idea and the only reason its being allowed to get this far is simple. Greedy politicians taking cash from Amazon and the others for short term gains.

This is what happens when we let our government put a piece of crap corporate lawyer in charge of airspace rather then someone actually involved and knowledgeable of the workings of it.
One of the engineers on the team gave an excellent talk on this at NEAT this year. The drone won't ever get below 7 meters or so, as the package will be lowered on a winch. If someone tries to drag the thing down by the line, it will tug a few times and then release the line and fly away. They have already flown 80,000 missions in Australia, with no noise complaints during hover. there has been a lot of money spent to make quiet props for both hover and horizontal flight. Its understood that it will only be effective in suburban areas, which is pretty obvious. they even have adsb out. This has been in development for a very long time, and these things are ridiculously well thought out. Please do proper research before coming to such conclusions.
 

The Hangar

Well-known member
#10
Lol - HobbyKing needs to use these for delivering things from their International warehouse! I know it’s not practical, but I couldn’t help making fun of them a little😂
 

Ihichi Bolls

Well-known member
#11
Ill stick to my ideas and thoughts. Even if it is successful its not very cost effective and I think after the ohh shiny wears of it will go over about as good as a fart in a space suit.

Not many places in big towns or cities to hover n hold to drop a line with a package. I wont even begin to go into the unknown variables like radio connection quality. Not to mention google maps is not enough to pre program safe drop zones per property so I will assume once on station it will require a pilot for final approach and delivery. At the very least it will have to be a manned observer position in case of gear failures or attempted hijackings or just plain safe flying.

Trucks deliver rain snow sleet n hail.. Cant see a drone being effective in poor weather.

Its limited by nature for weight it can carry and distance due to battery tech. Most people order more then one item to cut down on shipping costs Which btw I am sure drone delivery wont be a cheap option. The added items per order add up to more weight per order.

My guess is that allotted air space will give way to human transportation over time.
 

IanSR

Active member
#12
Yeah it's a fad that once people get over the initial WOW factor they won't use again.

In this country some retailers do same day home delivery, in some cases it's more expensive than the item you've bought and nobody uses the service now, but last year when the service was first introduced, everybody was doing it.

It's also my understanding that these drones are 99.9% autonomous, and in many cases there will not be a 1:1 operator, they rely on GPS co-ordinates and sensors for flight, it was a loophole a guy in our club noticed about the UK regulations, I.e. There was nothing covering fully autonomous drones flying themselves on waypoint missions, basically once launched you could set the model to fly autonomously anywhere and it not require a pilot or observer while in autonomous mode lol

It's why I wouldn't be surprised if the drone has laser scanned mapping on it from google maps or whatnot for flight and the service will probably only be available in areas that have been fully mapped previously, much like how in the uk autonomous cars are only going to be allowed onto motorways at first, and then that's only after every square inch of our motorway network has been mapped and laser scanned.
 
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