Flying Basket heavy cargo drone completes shore-to-ship delivery in busy Taranto port

Flying Basket has introduced a heavy cargo drone for commercial use with 100kg payload capacity, capable of transporting cargoes over distances of 10km. The FB3 is the result of research and development with industrial stakeholders, and practical testing, says the company.

Flying Basket recently successfully completed shore-to-island delivery trials as part of the “DronesBeyond23” event by Distretto Tecnologico Aerospaziale (DTA), says a report by EU-Startups. The trials were coordinated with the relevant authorities and demonstrated the drone’s potential to enhance safety by reducing the risks to crews that traditionally operate ships and helicopters for such deliveries.

“On October 18, 2023, at the Taranto port area, the FB3 drone flew a mission that seems to have sprung from the future: a 25kg payload was carried over 6.4km from Punta Rondinella to the Island of San Pietro, the whole operation from take-off to landing took about 5 minutes. In coordination with the Italian Navy, Marina Sud, Porto di Taranto, and the Coast Guard, the FB3 drone demonstrated a significant leap in operational safety and efficiency, reducing the risk for crews traditionally using small boats or helicopters. The drone completed its round-trip journey in approximately five minutes without needing to land, thanks to its innovative sling configuration.

“Further showcasing its capacity, a second trial at the Marina Militare naval base saw the FB3 drone delivering a similar payload (25 kg) to a boat 4km offshore. The FB3 delivered the payload without the need for landing, and once the detachment was completed, it returned to the helipad from which it started the mission, showing how effectively and swiftly ships can be resupplied without docking, a move that could revolutionize supply chain logistics for the maritime industry,” says the report.

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