Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) is advancing several programs for cargo drones, including plans to launch revenue-generating package deliveries this month from DSV Panalpina A/S’s 1.1 million-square-foot import/export distribution center near Toronto.
The Danish logistics provider’s international freight management division began operating at the new facility in Milton, Ontario, a month ago. It is the largest multi-tenant warehouse in Canada and the largest facility in the company’s global network, according to DSV, and is located 18 miles from Pearson International Airport.
DSV Air & Sea agreed in October to use Drone Delivery Canada’s Sparrow drone to deliver parcels up to 10 pounds to certain customers. DDC said it recently installed landing pads and battery management systems for the Sparrows and has successfully conducted numerous test flights. Flights will initially take place on site before branching out to pickup and delivery for customers with time-sensitive shipments.
DSV Air & Sea will pay DDC a monthly fee for each drone route deployed.
DDC last week said it will begin real-world, commercial testing in the second quarter of its Robin XL drone, which has a payload capacity of 25 pounds, a travel range of 37 miles and is designed to handle heavier winds and lower temperatures than the Sparrow. And the drone has an automated payload release option at predefined locations, eliminating the need for a person to unload the aircraft.
The publicly listed company is also beginning commercialization of its heavy-lift Condor drone, which can handle payloads of 400 pounds and travel 124 miles at up to 75 mph. The multi package cargo deck is designed to carry about 20 cubic feet of cargo.
Remote flight testing is expected to take place at a test range in Alberta this summer, DDC said in February. The unmanned aerial system is being developed with several types of customers in mind, including rural communities, courier companies, and mining and oil-and-gas companies.
The Condor measures 22 feet long, 5 feet wide and 7 feet tall. It has a rotor diameter of approximately 20 feet and is capable of vertical takeoff and landing.
DDC makes drones, but it also has a software platform that can be licensed to any drone carrier. Prospects for getting regulatory approval to operate in various locations and applications is also heightened by the fact that DDC is working closely with air traffic control authorities to set up roadway systems in the air and manage traffic for multiple carriers.
(Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the photo as a Sparrow drone)