Bill Lishman, of Father Goose fame, had a more practical solution for this application using ultralight aircraft with detachable pods. More economical and of greater range. I wonder what happened to his invention.
Facebook User
There have been a few proposals most of them a lot more realistic than this one. This one has so many basic problems in the concept. The quad platform is nice and stable in a hover but power hungry and rather inefficient in forward flight resulting in high power use or extremely short range or low cargo capacity. The same power in a fixed wing UAV will give a hundred km range or more while carrying more cargo faster. That\'s today technology not future wishful thinking. Do these guys have a clue just how much food supplies etc $2500 would buy in most of Africa. This wouldn\'t be able to deliver that much before the battery packs were worn out. I get the impression that no one involved has set foot outside of silicon valley.
The concept has merit. I would strongly advise the proponents to consider using the knowlege of the folks at FedEx to set up the logistics. They set up a network which, at its start, some folks thought was impossible.
Patrick Corliss
@jholman Thank you for that. I enjoyed the Father Goose story which I hadn\'t seen before. To answer your question, have a look at the AirFirstAid.com website. As an aside, I think the website design is pretty cool, too.
Replace electric with a high density power source, and the quadrocopter with fixed wing, or tilt rotor and it might work. For years in Africa mail was moved by a DC-3 that did not land at every village. The mail was in a container at the end of a long rope. The pilot would drop the container into the designated spot, and then fly a slow post turn, keeping one wing pointed at the container while the local postmaster would remove the mail destine for his delivery area, and add his outgoing mail. the pilot would then fly to the next village and repeat. A fixed wing UAV could do the same thing.
Daniel Plata Baca
impossible, and incredibely expensive, and unefficient flight for such needs, altough the idea of the network is great! thanks for the inspiration and for pointing your efforts towards a nice cause :)
Jim Andrews
Skynet is coming and will start with taking over Africa to see if it is feasible enought to do it on a global scale , LOL Here they come.......
Mr Stiffy
A bit stupid actually - this idiot version of the facebook friending network, clicking on all the links on the screen, does not translate well into doing drop off\'s of real world goods, across real world terrain. What bugs me with this bullshit, is that the average income, and the cost of infrastructure, the amount of just incremental bullshit on a step by step basis, battery swaps, charging stations, infinitely large amounts of short hops, and the actual design of the vehicle - that even an idiot with a pencil and paper can do the basic sums, and work out that compared what is already available - that this REALLY stupid and expensive idea. There is currently in stock and up and running - all the technology, and hardware and software, to make a reasonably good, cost effective solar powered, battery charged, LARGE UAV, capable of carrying 100Kg with \"bomb bay\" parachute drops of bubble wrapped packages on the fly over - with a range of 200 or so Km. A pack of postage stamps in 10Km hops - across a LARGE country? - Where do these people dream this crap up? Are people really THIS stupid?
Great scheme, there, MrStiffy, sounds like you have it knocked. Go ahead...do it.
Wesley Bruce
I think they will end up with a hybrid quad copter/ tilt rotor design with a big fixed wing and a fuelling station. The concept is good but it will needed to skip many stations to be viable. 20 times the range. It may be possible to craft a system where the payload and battery unit are separate drones. The power drones drop off to recharge and are replaced in the air by another. In flight coupling should not be that tricky or expensive for unmanned vehicles. A solar drone that only lands to pick up cargo and fuel booster pods should work. There are many places in the western world where this may also be viable.