Dropping packages by parachute! Gosh, novel and original thinking from Amazon. What will they come up with next! Amazon was granted a patent yesterday by the US Patent Office.

Something tells me I have seen it before.

But it’s not just parachuting packages. It’s guiding the package as it falls towards it’s delivery point. A drone dropping a parachute drone if you will.

Maneuvering a package following in-flight release from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
A package delivery system can be implemented to forcefully propel a package from an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), while the UAV is in motion. The UAV can apply a force onto the package that alters its descent trajectory from a parabolic path to a vertical descent path. The package delivery system can apply the force onto the package in a number of different ways. For example, pneumatic actuators, electromagnets, spring coils, and parachutes can generate the force that establishes the vertical descent path of the package. Further, the package delivery system can also monitor the package during its vertical descent. The package can be equipped with one or more control surfaces. Instructions can be transmitted from the UAV via an RF module that cause the one or more controls surfaces to alter the vertical descent path of the package to avoid obstructions or to regain a stable orientation.

That would be something Amazon would want to get back and reuse. Perhaps end users would return them via delivery truck.

I’m not a huge fan of parachute drops but I have to hand it to Zipline for actually being out there ironing out any wrinkles. If I were experimenting with parachute systems and I had buckets of cash it might make sense to buy them.

There are already guided parachutes out in the world. The Joint Precision Airdrop System (JPADS) is really quite advanced.

I could go on.

By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.