Aegle makes crash landing

Data of thousands of TU/e students on the street after hack
Photo Credit: Studio040

TU/e students have recently been working on a drone called ‘Aegle’ that can deliver packages. However, the test flight with the drone on the High Tech Campus ended on a low note. One of the engines failed, causing the drone – with a wingspan of three meters – to crash into the water.

“We had to swim out to it and bring it back ashore. And we are still trying to save as much as possible”, team leader Bram Schut recalled at the time of the crash. He isn’t too disappointed with this though. “The great thing about this drone is that it’s made with a 3D printer. So, at this stage of the prototype, we can rebuild the drone in one day. So, we’re going to run the 3D printers full blast now, and in three days time, we will be able to restart tests again.”

Parcel delivery service of the future

TU/e students have big dreams. Drones and small unmanned aircraft could possibly take over the heavy work of the parcel deliverer in the future. Students therefore made Aegle, a 3D-printed airplane with batteries that can be changed while flying.

The problem is that the range of the current drones is not far enough. “We therefore made this drone extra-large, so that a second drone can land on the wing and replace the battery,” explained Schut.

From Eindhoven to the South of France

For example, in the future Aegle will be able to fly from Eindhoven to the South of France. The choice for this way of traveling does not come out of the blue.

“You can see that the highways are getting quite full, while the hundred meters of airspace above are little used. So maybe we can also fly drones above the highway,” said the team leader.

It will be some time before that becomes reality. Building the plane was the first step in a four-year plan. Construction of the drone that can land on the unmanned aircraft will start next year.

Source: Studio040
Translated: Yawar Abbas

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