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Thu, Jan 24, 2019

This Drone Jumps Off The Ground Much Like A Bird

Being Developed For The Drone Delivery Market

A drone under development for the package delivery market would jump off the ground much like a bird, which would give it both VTOL and fixed-wing aircraft capabilities.

The Sparrow drone is being developed by Passerine, a start-up company in South Africa. Spectrum IEEE reports that the drone uses a concept called a "blown wing" in which the engines are mounted to the top of the wing. The engine exhaust passing over the trailing edge of the wing and flaps generates additional lift once the aircraft is airborne, but they can't lift the aircraft off the ground. That's where the bird-emulating landing gear comes into play. The spring-loaded legs provide 80 percent of the energy needed for takeoff.

After the drone is airborne, the legs are retracted into the fuselage of the drone to increase its aerodynamic performance.

The company plans to develop pilot programs this year in several locations across Africa. They are currently working on successfully completing a full flight cycle, from takeoff to landing, which they hope will be achieved in the next couple of months.

(Image provided by Passerine)

FMI: Video, Spectrum IEEE, passerineaircraft.com

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