ON A TYPICAL DAY, millions of tons of goods are moved across the transportation network that crisscrosses the United States. But how do residents of countries lacking well-maintained roads, railways and runways get the food, fuel, fabric, furniture, and footwear they desire? Expensively, if at all. London-based Reinhardt Technology Research says it has solved that problem with a novel way to haul freight: a vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft built to pick up and deliver a standard shipping container (artist’s conception shown here). Electronic sensors and control algorithms allow the aircraft to identify and pick up containers, fly in formation with others of its type to save fuel, and drop off shipments with speed and precision.
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