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Fri, Jun 07, 2024

DJI Continues Ops Near Mt Everest

Deliveries Could be Key to Cleanup Around Base Camps

DJI has shown off some of its mountaineering prowess again, making the first delivery tests on Mount Everest for some serious bragging rights.

The company joined hands with Nepalese drone specialist Airlift to complete their trials, making use of the infamously brutal climate in order to show off its FlyCart 30. The little drone is able to haul 33 lbs of payload at a time even at altitude near the mountain. The FlyCart was able to haul a trio of oxygen bottles and 1.5 kilos of other supplies from the Everest Base Camp at 5,300 feet, all the way up to Camp 1 at 6,000 feet. It didn't head back empty-handed, either, carrying with it a load of trash for easy disposal. (It may be noted that many a climber finds it difficult to pack out their own stuff after the fact, degrading the beautiful vistas with a host of flotsam. Drones could be key to restoring the views, if this becomes a habit.)

The trip marks a first for the industry, being the first time drones were able to brave the harsh environment to make a successful out-and-back delivery run. The climb up to Camp 1 isn't just a simple jaunt upwards, either, requiring the FlyCarry 30 to mount over the Khumbu Icefall, a terrain feature that makes even the helo operators in the area blanch. 

DJI worked its way up to the test though, assessing the FlyCart 30's ability to hover, climb, and weather the frigid conditions there. Luckily for them, the conditions in May weren't too harsh, allowing them to make the best of the relatively thawed springtime weather. That timing further coincided with the Nepalese Government's decision to contract with Airlift to start drone delivery operations on the south slope of Everest. It's a solid match, and it's paid off perfectly for the drone manufacturer.

"From the end of April, our team embarked on a groundbreaking endeavor to help make cleanup efforts on Everest safer and more efficient," said Christina Zhang, Senior Corporate Strategy Director at DJI. "We are thrilled to share that our DJI FlyCart 30 was up to the task. The ability to safely transport equipment, supplies, and waste by drone has the potential to revolutionize Everest mountaineering logistics, facilitate trash cleanup efforts, and improve safety for all involved."

FMI: www.dji.com

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