DDC’s Canary drone hits new heights

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by Emily Atkins

Drone Delivery Canada Corp.’s Canary drone has passed several new flight-worthiness tests.

The Canary passed a parachute safety system air-deployment test as well as an automated motor safety shut-off.

The DDC team pushed the Canary up to 5,900ft ASL with full payload of 4.5kg to validate performance including the demonstration of its stability, fidelity and reliability. Additionally, the team tested the drone for cold and hot weathers forcing it to perform at -35 degrees Celsius and +50 degrees Celsius.

Finally, the team flew the drone at a maximum range of 21km to ensure the validity of the drone’s range and payload capabilities. DDC’s engineers have a drop test program to conduct and the completion of the parachute flight test program, following which DDC will submit its declaration to Transport Canada that will enable the Canary to fly over people.

“The team has made incredible progress with the flight test program and validation to bring to market a drone to enable flights over people. A drone like the Canary, with a weight-class of under 55lbs (25kg), will bring new opportunities and use cases for the healthcare sector as well as the retail environment (i.e., residential deliveries at scale). Being able to address these vertical markets with our award-winning solution is part of our strategic roadmap and is expected to open underserved markets,” said Steve Magirias, CEO of DDC.

Flight range and cargo capacity of the Canary will be confirmed in future testing but it is expected to have a range of approximately ~20km and cargo capacity of ~4kg. This new functionality is intended to potentially unlock additional customer use-cases and facilitate future flights over people, which could open new, commercially addressable future markets in urban and residential areas for B2B and also B2C retail residential deliveries.

DDC expects existing customers will want to implement the Canary on new routes to optimize operations and augment serviceability. Furthermore, the company is also working towards the further development of detect-and-avoid (DAA) systems, which are intended to facilitate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, and reduce operational costs.