VIDEO Google has released a video describing “Project Wing”, a delivery-by-drone project it is conducting in Australia.
Project Wing's craft appear to be a flying wing, an aircraft design often associated with the B-2 bomber. Such designs don't have a distinct fuselage, instead packing engines, cockpit and other system into same structure as the wing.
As the video below depicts, Project Wing's craft appear capable of hovering. Once the prototype depicted does so, it then drops a tether to terra firma. The payload is attached to the tether, which detaches at the appropriate moment.
Google's told the BBC the battery-powered craft sit on their tails, take off vertically, don't need a runway for takeoffs or landings, weigh about 8.5 kilograms and can carry another 1.5kg. The video shows the craft have four engines.
The video below says the company has been working on Project Wing for a couple of years, feels its commercial debut is years in the future but that this design is the first it has been comfortable showing off in public.
Australia was chosen as a test location because local legislation makes trials of such craft rather easier than is possible in the USA. Amazon.com has written to US authorities asking them to help it keep the company's Prime Air program stateside by relaxing regulations. Google seems to have just hopped on a plane, rather than asking for permission.
Google is also asking around for “partners who can help us bring this technology to the world safely.” ®