Aviation Week /Credit: Isles of Scilly Travel
SOURCE BBC The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group (ISSG) said the flight “paves the way” for a “new lifeline connection” with the remote islands off Cornwall. The unmanned vehicle returned to Land’s End airport with local produce including gin and flowers.
Currently most freight is carried to the islands by ship, with some being taken alongside passengers on planes. Drones could carry items including medical supplies and urgent vehicle parts
The project is a collaboration between the ISSG, which provides boat and plane transport to the islands, and Hampshire-based company Flylogix. Following the successful flight there are plans to introduce a daily drone freight service between the mainland and Scilly next summer.
If this three month trial is successful, a “full commercial operation” using a “bespoke” drone could be up and running within two years. Stuart Reid, chief executive of ISSG, said “we’ve shown that a drone freight service is not only technically feasible but that there is demand for its potential to deliver time-sensitive and high value items for the island community”. He added that the “aircraft have 98% fewer emissions than a manned equivalent”.