- Dec 24, 2020
JD’s Self-developed Logistics Drone Takes Off in Sichuan
by Yuchuan Wang
After 10 months of research and development, JD’s self-developed logistics drone (UAV) JDX-500 (“Jingting”) took off from Fengming Airport in Sichuan province on December 16th. JDX-500 is China’s first autogyro (also known as a gyroplane or gyrocopter) logistics drone that can carry weight of up to a few hundred kilograms with airdrop capabilities.
As an autogryro, JDX-500 uses an unpowered rotor in free autorotation to develop lift. Forward thrust is provided independently by an engine-driven propeller. This enables it to take off and land with a short runway; thus JDX-500 doesn’t need to rely on existing airports, expanding its application scenarios and service ranges in the logistics industry.
Developed originally as a drone and different from the general ones which are developed and modified from manned aircraft, JDX-500 achieves better performance and space utilization. It can shift between the models of transportation and airdrop.
For example, the drone can transport goods between regional warehouses such as JD’s Asia No.1 fulfillment centers and transitional warehouses, which can be as far as a few hundred kilometers away. At the same time, it can be applied for airdropping supplies during emergencies.
JDY-500 takes off from Fengming Airport in Sichuan province on December 16th
In addition, JD’s first generation heavy-load logistics drone “JDY-800” launched in 2018 has also developed in the past two years in the areas of performance, loading capacity and more. It has accumulated a large amount of flying data that has contributed to the R&D of new types of logistics drones like JDX-500. Earlier on November 26th, JD Logistics begun to test drone flights with loads, which paved the way for future day-to-day operations of heavy-load logistics drones.
JD started to use innovative drone technology to reach consumers in some of China’s hard-to-reach remote areas in 2016 and was the first e-commerce company in the world to put drone technology into commercial use.