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02 / 09 / 2020

Facts: China's first unmanned cargo flight

SF Holdings carries out a trial of what it calls China's first unmanned cargo flight on August 21. 

Using small drones to deliver packages straight to your door isn’t a new idea: businesses from Amazon to UPS are already experimenting with the technology. But now the company that owns China’s largest express delivery service is taking the concept further.

SF's aircraft is said to be capable of flying longer with a payload of up to 1.5 tonnes and able to reach a maximum flight distance of 1,200km at a speed of 180km per hour, while Amazon Prime Air drone can fly up to 24km and deliver a package that weighs a little more than 2kg.

SF said it hopes to use these autonomous aircraft to bring goods to rural areas that have long suffered from slow and sporadic deliveries.

SF's test aircraft is made in China by Wuhan-based manufacturer China Aerospace Times Electronics. It joins a number of companies around the world that are also working to make pilotless cargo flights a reality.