Amazon says its new delivery drone will fly through light rain
Amazon has lofty and long-held ambitions when it comes to drone deliveries, and over the years we’ve seen that translate into continual tinkering with the vehicles that will carry them out. The company has today offered a glimpse of its latest Prime Air delivery drone, which it says will be lighter, quieter and capable of operating in the rain.
Since first introducing the idea of drone deliveries in 2013, Amazon has created more than two dozen prototypes and conducted tests in the US, UK and Canada. Earlier this year, it introduced a drone called the MK27-2, which featured a unique hexagonal airframe claimed to offer greater stability in the air. This drone will be put to use in upcoming delivery trials in California and Texas, which are expected to kick off later this year. The company is casting its eye further afield, however, with the reveal of a successor to the MK27-2 that it calls the MK30.
It says this unmanned aircraft will be lighter and smaller, but offer increased range, improved safety features and interestingly, an ability to fly in light rain. The company's previous drones weren’t designed to be waterproof, but this suggests its latest will have some level of resistance to H20, which will enable it to carry out deliveries more often.
The MK27-2 revealed earlier in the year was claimed to have specially designed propellors that keep high-frequency soundwaves to a minimum. Amazon claims its engineers have further honed the design of these propellors to reduce the noise signature of the MK30 by another 25%.
Amazon says the MK30 will enter service in 2024.