Early this week, Aerialoop successfully completed the test of its new payload container that will be used to take food orders in Quito, Ecuador. The payload box is designed to storage 3 large Papa John's pizzas for a quick delivery to the residential rural areas of Quito within 7-9 minutes of flight.
After several iterations, the hardware development team released an innovative delivery box with aerodynamical performance of an airfoil. The design is based in the N-22 airfoil for an overall lift performance enhancement, drag reduction and stabilized landing.
The R&D innovation emerged in response to the need for transporting larger food orders. Formerly, the company started flying with 1kg payload while the average food order weights is 1.5kg.
An initial prototype of the 3Kg payload box was proposed to comply the requirement of harboring 3 familiar size pizzas, with a combined drag of 5.19kg and no lift.
Consequently, aerodynamical efficiency was also considered in the design in order to generate enough lift to undertake the package weight while producing the same amount of drag.
Three airfoil models were put into aerodynamic simulation with a CFD software, calculating lift and drag while keeping volume requirements.
Delivery box 1 presented combined drag of 5.55kg with noticeable more lift (5.15 kg), and only can accommodate 2 pizza boxes (38x38x5 cm).
Delivery box 2 has a better performance in drag inline (1.45 kg) and combined (2.86 kg), but a little reduction in lift (2.55 kg), it can also hold 2pizza boxes (38x38x5 cm).
Delivery box 3 exhibited better lift performance (2.73 kg) due to change in the aerodynamic shape (n22 airfoil) compared with delivery box 2 airfoil, but it had more drag: inline (2.15 kg) and combined (3.16 kg).
After 4 design iterations, the team finally approved the fabrication of payload box #3 and immediately started fabrication. Aerialoop is planning to start operating with extended payload in March 2021.
The current version of the payload box has been already tested on the WingQad 6 drone manufactured by the Ecuadorian company, Latitude Aerospace Solutions, with a volume capacity of 45 liters. This upgrade in size represents an important step in the increase of capacity of each delivery.
Continued commercial operations are scheduled to restart in March 2021 with the advantage of carrying out up to three familiar-size pizzas to families in the residential suburb of Puembo, 45 minutes away (by ground transportation) from the urban area of Quito.
Aerialoop plans to increase the offer of popular foodservices in rural areas with a fast and safe drone delivery service. The company is committed to making drone delivery ubiquitous and enter the third decade of the XXI century developing core technologies for drone operational excellence.
Daily proactivity, ownership, rapid prototyping and methodical execution is putting the Aerialoop team in the mirror of the high standards and safety of the civilian airline industry to fulfill its mission of improve everyone's life through drone delivery.