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A2Z Longtail delivery drone with winch gets new rainproof version

by nytime
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Drone logistics specialist A2Z Drone Delivery has launched the second generation of its off-the-shelf RDST Longtail cargo aircraft. The upgraded drone has a more streamlined design and boasts a new propulsion system. But the most exciting upgrade comes in the form of a new rainproof delivery winch that allows the drone to fly for longer-range missions even in inclement weather.

The Longtail comes pre-integrated with A2Z’s RDS2 drone winch that enables payloads to be deposited safely from an altitude where spinning rotors are kept far from people and property. Two versions of the drone are available to buy — the Longtail Standard with prices starting at $20,000 and the RDST Longtail Premium, which is priced at $27,000.

The Standard configuration offers a maximum range of 20 km, while the rainproof Premium version with a quick-release battery system takes that range up to 26 km. Both drones come with a new bag auto-release mechanism that allows for easy pickups and auto-releasing of any delivery bag of up to 5 kg without the need for specialty payload boxes.

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A2Z says it has developed the RDST Longtail to be the ideal partner for local parcel or food delivery, emergency medical deliveries, drone-born water sampling programs, offshore logistics, search and rescue operations, open mines, and solar farms. The company is also quick to point out that the drone comes with a factory-integrated Remote ID beacon to meet the FAA’s requirements.

“In upgrading our off-the-shelf RDST platform, we’ve streamlined the overall design and upgraded the propulsion system, but the most sought-after upgrade from customers has been the rainproofing built into our new RDST Longtail Premium edition,” says Aaron Zhang, founder and CEO of A2Z Drone Delivery.

“The RDST Longtail is further democratizing commercial drone delivery by allowing businesses to quickly and easily launch a drone logistics operation from delivering parts to offshore energy platforms to deploying live-saving medical equipment to first responders right on the scene. As residential parcel delivery continues to expand, the RDST Longtail is positioned as an accessible flight platform for the proliferation of this cost-saving, and more eco-conscious last-mile delivery method.”

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The RDST Longtail is designed to work alongside the A2Z Ground Control Station, which integrates flight and winch commands with airframe telemetry for accurate navigation and delivery. The integrated open-source Q Ground Control mission planning software is capable of conducting pre-planned automated delivery missions without needing to land.

“Our prototype RDST Longtail has already logged 500 flight hours conducting daily residential parcel deliveries near our Shanghai test facility,” says Zhang. “Many of the upgrades included in this second generation RDST have been made in response to customer feedback on capabilities they need to deploy for missions in inclement weather, and the platform has proven robust during testing in rain conditions. The RDST Longtail is the flexible commercial delivery UAV for last-mile deliveries that will round out a logistics fleet.”

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