Jürgen Gerdes, CEO of Deutsche Post DHL's Post,
eCommerce Parcel Division said "Our DHL parcelcopter 2.0
is already one of the safest and most reliable flight
systems in its class that meets the requirements needed
to fulfill such a mission. We are proud that this
additional service can create added value for the
residents of and visitors to the island of Juist
and are pleased with the support we have received from
the involved communities and agencies."
The technical innovations of the DHL parcelcopter
include extended flight duration and range. The flight
route to the island of Juist
is roughly 7.5 miles. The flight will be completely
automated for the first time. This means that a pilot
does not have to take any action at all during any phase
of the flight.
For safety reasons and in compliance with the
requirements set by the responsible agencies, the DHL
parcelcopter will be constantly monitored during the
flight by a mobile ground station in Norddeich so that
manual action can be immediately taken in real time if a
malfunction or emergency occurs. The ground station will
also maintain constant contact with air traffic
ensure that the DHL parcelcopter operates reliable, flys
safely and always lands at the right location, an
autopilot with automated takeoff and landing functions
was developed. This system is robust and reliable, and
has been extensively tested. At an altitude of 164 feet,
the parcelcopter can travel up to 60 feet per second
depending on wind speed.
will primarily transport medications from the mainland
island of Juist at certain times during the week
and on weekends. This delivery option will focus on
times when such alternatives as ferries and flights are
not available. The parcelcopter will take off from the
harbor in Norddeich.
will land at a launch pad and landing field on the island of Juist reserved specifically for the
parcelcopter. From there, a DHL courier will then
deliver the goods to the recipient. To optimally secure
the goods during transport, DHL Parcel developed a
special air-transport container that is extremely
lightweight as well as weather- and waterproof.
The medications for the transport can be ordered from
the research project's collaboration partner on Juist,
Seehund pharmacy. Once the project takes off,
vacationers and island residents can find out more about
how they can place orders.
"With the DHL parcelcopter, an unmanned aircraft
operating outside the controller's field of vision will
perform deliveries for the first time in a real-world
mission. Without the extremely high level of willingness
to innovate and to find solutions exhibited by the
involved agencies, communities and the Wattenmeer
administrative unit of Lower Saxony, such a project would not be possible,"
Jürgen Gerdes emphasized.
Currently, there are no specific plans to use the
DHL parcelcopter in normal parcel delivery
operations. This phase of the research project will
test and evaluate the possibilities of such delivery
methods. To the extent that it is technically
feasible and economically sensible, the use of
parcelcopters to deliver urgently needed goods to
thinly populated or remote areas or in emergencies
is an interesting option for the future.