Madagascar Flying Labs takes off the longest-range drone deliveries in Africa
Madagascar Flying Labs, hosted and coordinated by AerialMetric, completed their longest-range flights to date.
- AerialMetric thus carried out four long-range flights with the following range targets: 150 kilometres, 175 kilometres, 200 kilometres, and 225 kilometres.
May 06, 2021: Madagascar Flying Labs, hosted and coordinated by AerialMetric, completed their longest-range flights to date. These were part of this joint project with the African Regional Office (AFRO) of the World Health Organization (WHO). These long-range flights aimed to study the impact of long flight times on the aerial cold chain.
Maintaining the cold chain means keeping patient samples and medicines within a specific temperature range, e.g., between 0°C and 8°C. This is absolutely essential because some samples and medicines (such as vaccines) are ruined if they exceed certain temperatures over a given period of time. We had previously demonstrated that the cold chain was fully maintained for 20+ shorter-range flights (under 30 km in range) in March 2021. AFRO wanted to know whether the cold chain could also be maintained for much longer-range deliveries. They wanted this to be operationally proven with multiple 150 kilometres test flights rather than simulated.
AerialMetric thus carried out four long-range flights with the following range targets: 150 kilometres, 175 kilometres, 200 kilometres, and 225 kilometres. All the flights were carried out successfully across Northern Madagascar. The cargo included two capsules weighing a total of 2 kilogrammes. We estimate this to be the equivalent of 300 biological samples in terms of weight. The cold chain was maintained throughout all four long-range flights. The temperature data below, for example, is from the 200 kilometres flight, which clocked a flight time of 2 hours and 12 minutes (132 minutes). The temperature inside the cargo box was kept between 0°C and 2°C throughout the flight. The 225 kilometres flight clocked a flight time of 2 hours and 30 minutes. During the flight, the temperature of the cargo box was kept between 0.6°C and 8.6°C.
The 225 kilometres flight may be the longest autonomous flight of an e-VTOL cargo drone in Africa to date. AerialMetric’s longer-range deliveries will directly benefit the 1.4 million individuals living in Northern Madagascar.