Cargoleaper - Airlifting container




During military operations in foreign countries, provisions, spare parts and equipment are needed often. The transportation of these goods is a major logistic effort for armed forces. It is even harder as remote military bases are often situated far from airports or harbours. The territory might be hostile and the location hard to reach. The majority of the cargo is transported in standard containers.

These 20 ft. containers are shipped to the nearest harbour or flown to the nearest airport. From there the containers are usually transported in a convoy of trucks. These convoys often need to travel multiple days to cover a few hundred kilometres. This method of transportation is inefficient, time consuming, costly and dangerous. 

Therefore, the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) is in search of an autonomous, unmanned aviation solution. Such a solution could dramatically improve transportation time and increase safety. 

Main requirements of the RNLAF for this aviation solution are that the vehicle shall be unmanned, operate autonomous and be capable to take-off and land vertically. It shall deliver a heavy payload over a medium distance and return without refuelling. This should be realised at a relatively low unit and operational cost.

The RNLAF, Delft University, the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) and a consortium of several companies are cooperating to develop and build a megadrone fulfilling these requirements. This megadrone bears the name Cargoleaper.


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