TU Delft's Newest Tailsitter Drone Is Designed for Outback Delivery

Drone designs are usually a choice between flexibility and endurance. You can either go with a multirotor that’ll let you hover and make pinpoint landings, or you can go with a flying wing, which can handle bigger payloads and longer ranges. Finding a compromise is difficult, and usually, it’s also very messy. Amazon and Google, for example, are both working on delivery drones that have a whole bunch of frequently superfluous motors and propellers that help the drone to transition between hovering and efficient forward flight. 

Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has a history of managing to make successful drones that combine the best features of VTOL and fixed-wing flight. With their latest aircraft, they’re going old-school, with a biplane that can also take off and land vertically. The Delftacopter (get it?) is designed for outback delivery: not the steakhouse, sadly, but the mostly empty part of Australia, where the TU Delft team is testing its drone.

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