One industry in which the drone and drone industry is currently active is the delivery industry. A designer, Qinsheng Meng, a student at Zhejiang Gongshang University, decided to bring a different touch to drone delivery by focusing on long-distance services.
This idea led to a journey that would eventually develop the DJI Express drone, and while this design does not directly involve DJI, who knows, maybe the real DJI has an idea of this design and buys it from Meng. . It’s time to see what’s so special about the DJI Express.
Well, one feature that makes this Express ideal for delivery is that it is designed to travel up to 300 km (186 mi). Now think about what this line means for delivery services; there should no longer be a need for countless freight hubs. If the maximum range is not needed to deliver a package, then the 90-minute flight time takes over.
This hypothetical range is granted by two systems. The first is a large battery hidden in the body of the Express, where the tail begins. There is no mention of the capacity of this battery, but it is removable, meaning that a full battery can take its place when discharged.
The second system in place is the propulsion system. Behind each wing, we can see two propellers which aim to help the Express. However, a third propeller sits at the very rear of the Express, providing a bit more control in flight, not to mention speed and power.
Now if we take a look at the overall design of the Express, you can tell that it is a little different from your regular delivery UAV and is designed more like a military use UAV. It seems like this is the kind of long throw design you want. With a large body intended to carry cargo, widely extended side wings, tail and fins, and the drone seems to have what it takes to become a workable cargo solution.
Speaking of freight, this is one of the few areas the designer has chosen to put a little more effort into designing. Freight transportation is the main reason the Express is designed as it is; this belly is a hold. The Express must be loaded through a side hatch that exposes an empty interior, waiting to be refilled whenever cargo needs to be transported. Meng also mentions that this style of shipping is the most favorable because it does not expose the cargo to the outside elements.
At the very front of the drone, you can see a closed glass dome housing a camera behind it. These are the eyes of the machine, but there are two other pairs of eyes. Under and above the cargo hold, two strips of sensors and cameras are used to help the drone avoid objects during flight.
Aside from the fact that this is only a conceptual design, at the moment anyway, there is a problem; there’s no way to gauge the size of this drone, and we don’t know if it’s meant to carry elephants, meals, or just simple envelopes. Regardless of the size, the last problem is that it will require an airstrip as no vertical take-off and landing capability is stated. At least it looks neat.