DJI enters cargo drone game

Any of you guys remember a story we carried a few months ago, where a Chinese solar installation company used a drone to transport solar panels 300metres from the foot of a mountain to where they were needed at the top?

We all wondered what type of drone could do that at the time; it was clearly not any cargo drone we had seen before.

Now we think we know the answer.

It had to be one of the very first sightings of the DJI Flycart 30, a new offering from the world’s biggest drone manufacturer, which has, perhaps naturally, taken the unoriginal route of joining the cargo drone game.

We could be wrong though.

But the Flycart is here for real, and as DJI says, it is the company’s traiblazing civilian logistics drone that combines heavy load, long range, powerful communication, and high intelligence.

The drone has been launched in mainland China at an initial price of about $17,000. There are theories in the drone community that the FC30 might take really long to be released on the worldwide market; given DJI’s legal troubles with the enterprise markets, especially in the USA.

The below information about the new drone is from the manufacturer; which we have had to translate from Chinese. We hope you find it useful.

Meet the demand for efficient transportation with loads of up to 30kg and a flight distance of 16km

With its large payload and long range, the FC30 can break through space limits and accomplish delivery missions. The device adopts a 4-axis, 8-blade multi-rotor configuration and a new dual battery system, with a maximum load capacity of 30kg in dual battery mode and a maximum load capacity of 40kg in single battery mode.

The longest range is 28km, and when fully equipped with dual batteries, the flight range can reach up to 16km. The entire system is equipped with carbon fibre propellers as standard, and the maximum flight speed is 20metres per second.

The FC30 is specially designed for efficient transportation, effectively improving the practical feasibility of drone transportation, meeting the goods transportation needs of mountainous, coastal-based, rural transportation and various emergency scenarios, and allowing more people to enjoy the benefits of UAV transportation.

Enabling transportation with excellent environmental adaptability

Various transportation scenarios, such as mountainous, land transportation, and rural transportation, have complex factors such as weather and terrain changes, but the FC30 can deliver anywhere due to its all-weather operation, wide temperature range, and high-altitude operation to improve equipment accessibility and reliability.

The protection level of the whole machine is IP55, waterproof and dustproof, can adapt to the working environment temperature of -20°C~45°C, supports flying in high and low temperature environments, the maximum wind resistance is 12m/s, the maximum flight altitude is 6000 meters, to meet the transportation needs of different altitudes.

The standard propeller is optimised for high altitudes, while a rugged propeller for low altitude is optional, allowing the FC30 to maintain maximum load of 30kg in dual battery mode at an altitude of 30metres. To ensure safety, the battery self-supports, in order to maximize the performance of the product and meet the operating needs of low temperature and cold working conditions.

The heater function does not make it difficult to charge and discharge the battery even in a low-temperature environment.

20km stable image transmission flight operation smoother

The FC30 main unit is equipped with DJI O3 image transmission function, and the image transmission distance can reach up to 20km, meeting the needs of long-distance transportation beyond the visual range.

When the image transmission signal is subjected to interference, FC30 can connect to the network with a DJI enhanced image transmission module to achieve 4G enhanced image transmission, which can obtain stable and clear images in various operating environments, and signal blocking in complex environments makes flight safer.

In addition, FC30 supports dual control of one machine, allowing pilots in two locations to switch the control authority of the drone with one key, which can work together to effectively solve the problems of signal interruption and insufficient delivery accuracy in long-distance transportation. The working range and distance are improved, and the work accuracy is improved.

Dual radar, dual vision and parachute design ensure safe operation

The FC30 is equipped with intelligent safety protection measures in the whole process from take-off to landing, effectively ensuring the safety of people, aircraft and objects.

Before take-off, the system will conduct accessibility assessments based on mission requirements, equipment and flight environmental conditions, help users choose appropriate flight routes, and ensure pre-take-off safety through functions such as prompt and delayed propulsion by drone sound and light.

During flight, the FC30 realizes intelligent obstacle avoidance in multi-directional, all-weather, and always-on through the aircraft’s forward-to-rear rotation active phased array radar and binocular vision system, allowing users to fly safely. The built-in ADS-B signal receiver provides timely warning of information of surrounding manned aircraft, making the flight safer.

The drone is equipped with a built-in parachute as standard, and is equipped with guarantee functions such as power-on self-inspection, independent power supply, propeller stop and power failure before parachute opening, sound and light alarm, multi-mode trigger.

In addition, the FC30 is powered by a dual-battery system combined with multiple redundant designs to easily cope with harsh operating environments and ensure maximum flight safety.

Flexible switching of loading modes to meet different transportation scenarios

The folding storage design of FC30 can reduce the size of equipment, meet the mobility needs of ordinary vehicles, and improve the convenience of equipment deployment, use and maintenance. The two loading modes of container and empty crane system provide a more flexible and comprehensive solution for different transportation scenarios.

In container loading mode, a standard configuration is a general-sized EPP container with a maximum capacity of 70 litres, which can be quickly disassembled and assembled within three minutes, making loading and unloading easy. The cargo box supports weight and centre of gravity detection, ensuring that the cargo is loaded correctly, making the flight safer and more stable.

If the place of transportation is inconvenient for taking off and landing equipment, an empty crane system can be selected to transport cargo. The empty crane system is equipped with cable drop mode, supports both automatic and manual control methods, the maximum retractable weight is 40kg, the maximum release length is 20m, and the fastest retractable speed reaches 0.8m/s.

The FC30’s unique intelligent anti-shaking function adjusts the flight attitude individually, effectively eliminating cargo shaking and greatly ensuring cargo stability. The AR projection function allows you to quickly select the delivery location of the goods, and when you release the rope with one button and lower the rope, the product will be automatically released when it touches the ground, realizing contactless and accurate delivery. In extreme cases, cable fuse protection ensures the safe escape of the drone.

Multi-device collaboration and convenient scheduling make it easy to move

DJI Yun, a brand new air transportation cloud platform specially designed for transportation applications, easily realizes efficient collaboration and one-stop management of multiple terminals, making transportation management and scheduling simpler and more efficient.

DJI Transport supports complex route drawing, can effectively plan drone flight paths, and supports remote task creation and planning. This allows equipment to be shipped quickly and reduces the input of human resources.

In addition, together with the live broadcast of the Full HD FPV single-axis gimbal camera, the position, status, and flight trajectory of the drone can be presented in real time on the cloud, making it possible to grasp the operation status more intuitively and comprehensively. It supports the centralized management of equipment and multi-dimensional data statistical analysis, and provides strong data support to adjust operation plans and continuously improve operational efficiency.

DJI Pilot 2 APP also designed new functions and interactive interfaces for transportation users. Through DJI Pilot 2, users can intuitively understand the status of the cargo and intelligently control the aircraft crane system to ensure the safety of the cargo.

With real-time terrain altitude profile, pole measurement maintenance and other auxiliary functions, users can grasp the flight situation in real time and effectively reduce operation fatigue during flight. Make transportation operations more efficient with route recording and automatic execution of route functions.

At the same time, Pilot 2 supports setting multiple alternative landing sites, and in the event of abnormal weather and other anomalies, the APP can instantly notify the risk, automatically select alternative landing sites, and trigger aircraft landing to improve transportation safety.

The DJI FC30 standard package is priced at RMB125,000, and the package comes standard with a carrier drone host (including remote control), one C1 smart charging butler, two DB2000 smart flight batteries, and two 2A charger AC cables.

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