Automation is still happening in full force, and the latest example of this is the Elroy Air Chaparral hybrid cargo drone. The craft is designed to deliver 300 to 500 pounds of cargo up to a range of 300 miles without an on-board human pilot. It’s a hybrid electric aircraft because it adds a generator to the electric power mix, to maximise lift during takeoff.
There are a number of cool new technologies integrated into the product, including a sophisticated GPS and sensing system to help automate the pickup and drop off of cargo. Not only automatic flight, but cargo handling. If they can pull this off safely, it could really disrupt current mid-range delivery systems. Unfortunately the company is also designing a military version, but we guess that’s an inevitable path to take for this kind of technology long term. Testing starts next year and there’s no word on possible pricing options.