Not to be out-droned by their contemporaries over at Amazon, this week Deutsche Post DHL — the world’s leading mail and logistics services group – launched their own test flight of a delivery drone.
Dubbed “Paketkopter” — German for “package copter” — the yellow quadcopter took a short two-minute flight, ferrying medicine from a pharmacist in the city of Bonn over the Rhine River to a crosstown landing pad.
As of now, short flights seem to be the drone’s only option, since it reportedly only has a 0.6 mile range, albeit with a decent payload of up to 6.6 pounds. That range may not be much to write home about, but unlike Amazon, DHL has a local permit allowing the drone to fly up to 300 feet. However, that’s somewhat of flimsy attribute. In the United States, if a object is flying below 400 feet and in the operator’s line of sight, it’s considered a model airplane and no permit is needed.
DHL officials said that Paketkopter test flights will be ongoing the rest of this week. However, unlike Amazon, the company has no future plans for an actual delivery drone service. Seems like we have a case of delivery-drone envy. If you listen closely, you can almost hear, like children taunting each other on a playground, “Oh yeah, you’re delivery drone isn’t so hot. I can build one, too.”
Regardless, any delivery drone service has a lot of hurdles to overcome before it gets off the ground.
Credit: Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty Images