DB Schenker and Volocopter exhibit heavy lift cargo drone

By Rachelle Harry

Left to right: Stefan Klocke, chairman of the board of Volocopter; Andreas Scheuer, German Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure; Patric Hoffmann, head of News Business Models at DB Schenker; Christian Bauer, chief commercial officer of Volocopter

DB Schenker and heavylift drone firm Volocopter have teamed up with the aim of developing emissions-free airfreight solutions.

Last week, Volocopter exhibited its test VoloDrone aircraft, along with with a sample transport container from DB Schenker, at Germany’s National Aviation Conference.

The heavylift aircraft, which can take off and land vertically, is autonomously and electrically operated and can transport up to 200 kg of cargo.

The VoloDrone weighs 600 kg, it is 9.15 m in diameter, 2.15 m tall and has a range of up to 40 km.

Its flight took place in 2019. Since then, regular flight tests have been conducted in southern Germany.

Jochen Thewes, chief executive of DB Schenker, commented: “Our customers demand clean, fast and innovative solutions for their supply chains. When the infrastructure for conventional means of transport is overburdened or non-existent, cargo drones offer an opportunity to rethink logistics routes.

“The possible applications in logistics are limitless. Through our partnership with Volocopter, this vision is gradually becoming reality. Drone transport is becoming increasingly tangible.

“The National Aviation Conference in Berlin offers us a very good opportunity to give German politicians a live impression of this.”

Florian Reuter, chief executive of Volocopter, added: “Our VoloDrone will be put to use, where classical ground transportation meets its limits in logistics, construction, or agriculture.

“We have ten years of flight experience and our advanced status in the certifications process with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) bears tremendous synergies for all our aircraft.

“DB Schenker is a leading logistics partner, with whom we are readying our VoloDrone specifically for the commercial use in different logistics applications.”

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