The subsidiary of Alphabet’s drone delivery division, Wing , unveiled the design of a new, larger delivery drone that is yet to be named. This new drone is designed to fulfill orders that regularly require the use of two copies.
Wing, responsible for more than 350,000 deliveries across three continents, plans to add this larger drone to its fleet to simplify and streamline larger orders. The company will work with partners and regulatory authorities to introduce this higher capacity model, which has twice the payload of its predecessor, in service areas around the world in the next 12 months.
It’s also important to note that Wing obtained new permits from the FAA in December, allowing it to fly drones beyond the operator’s line of sight (BVLOS), without human observers on the ground, which can improve range and reduce costs by reducing the need for human staff .
Based on internal company information, it is revealed that 70% of Wing’s orders in the United States are fulfilled by a single drone. However, the remaining 30% require the use of two or more. The company’s redesign is intended to address this situation and optimize efficiency in the delivery of orders that require multiple drones.
” Think of it as airlines operating different aircraft for different routes – this new aircraft will expedite our deliveries of larger orders ,” said Adam Woodworth, CEO of Wing.
About the design of Wing’s new delivery drone
The creation of Wing’s largest design stems from its focus on the Aircraft Library, a methodology in which engineers develop various aircraft configurations based on the fundamental components of their already flight-tested drones. This method allows the company to quickly adapt its designs to meet identified needs in the market, such as the demand for a larger drone.
The recent design significantly shares its hardware and architecture with existing drones in Wing’s fleet. These have the capacity to carry up to 2.5 pounds on flights spanning 12 square miles , reaching speeds of 65 mph. The new drone maintains that range and speed capability, but doubles the payload to 5 pounds, using the same standardized cardboard box. Likewise, it retains a hybrid aircraft configuration, combining vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) with precision hovering capability and fixed wings for cruising flights.
This updated model is also designed to integrate with the infrastructure and automation supporting the company’s existing fleet, known as the Wing Delivery Network. Announced last year, this system seeks to streamline deliveries by intelligently calculating routes, assigning drones based on demand, and performing seamless flights between Wing operation centers.
Likewise, it incorporates innovative technologies aimed at simplifying operations from the customer’s perspective, such as the Autoloader. Instead of store employees loading packages directly onto the drone, they can simply leave the packages for pickup. At its core, this is a curbside delivery service specifically designed for drones.
Importantly, Wing’s newly designed drone is not intended to replace other aircraft in its fleet. This decision is aligned with the philosophy of the Wing Delivery Network, which is based on the use of several aircraft adapted for different mission profiles.
Don’t miss any of our posts and follow us on social media!