Staff place packages into the U650 before it traveles from Jinshan to Zhoushan. (Photo: GT)
A large fixed-wing amphibious drone was used for the first time in China to deliver mail packages across the sea to scattered islands.
The U650 amphibious drone took off from Jinshan district, Shanghai, in the morning of May 29. The aircraft landed in waters near Shengsi Islands, Zhoushan, East China's Zhejiang Province, 52 minutes later after a 110-kilometer flight, news website thepaper.cn reported on Sunday.
The deployment of the amphibious drone is significant as postal services through normal transportation to so many islands in Zhoushan have proven inconvenient.
The U650 can carry a load of 250 kilograms, including fresh food and e-commerce products.Four to six hours can be saved in one delivery from Jinshan to Zhoushan when the drone is used to replace trucks and ships, local news WeChat account iJinshan reported.
Capable of taking off and landing from the sea, the drone requires no additional infrastructure construction costs. As the flight is conducted above the sea, it also minimizes safety risks (of falling and causing casualties.) The flight was considered a test, as the service provider is looking to expand the model in Hangzhou Bay in Zhejiang and Bohai Strait.