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Yamato and Bell to launch a flying drone cargo project

Dal Kikin
October 17, 2018

Japanese transport giant Yamato Holdings, in association with the American corporation Bell Helicopter, will begin developing an unmanned flying truck. According to the developers, drone will be able to reach speeds of up to 160 km / h and carry up to 450 kg.

The first test flights of the company are planned to be held in August of 2019. A reduced prototype will be involved in the trials. Its length will not exceed one and a half meters, and loading capacity will be only 30 kg. “Flying truck” will be constructively similar to the tiltrotor and will combine the qualities of an airplane and a helicopter. Such maneuvers will allow to make four screws, changing position. This will allow drone to work in almost any conditions, as the runway will not be needed. 

The aviation part of the project will fall on Bell Helicopter. The task of Yamato Holdings will be to create a freight container that will allow to receive cargo, move it into cars, railway cars or storage facilities without human intervention. According to the developers, their device is ideal for medium and long range transportation.

According to the plans, "flying trucks" will go on sale in mid-2020. Recall that according to analysts of consulting agency Strategy &, thanks to digitalization and automation, logistics costs will be reduced by 5% in 2020, to 2025 in 20%, and by 2030 in 50%.