US Marines Test Disposable Drone

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Logistic Gliders Disposable Drone

(Photo by Logistic Gliders Inc.)

The US Marines have been testing a new type of drone designed to be used once and left where it lands once the cargo it’s carrying has been retrieved.

As IEEE Spectrum reports, the disposable drone, developed by Logistic Gliders Inc., was recently tested for use by the US Marine Corps. It can be deployed by a helicopter or dropped from the back of an aircraft before gliding to its destination.

The cargo carrying capacity of these simple drones is huge. The smaller LH-1K can hold up to 300 kilograms (about 660 pounds), whereas the larger LG-2K can carry up to 700kg (1,500+ pounds). This is made possible by the size of the drones, which are 13 feet long and have a wingspan of 23 feet.

The range of flight is limited to about 70 miles traveling at a speed of 150mph, which should be enough for most missions where fresh supplies or some other form of cargo is required to head into enemy territory, for example.

A disposable drone that is left on the ground to slowly decompose may seem wasteful, but it solves the problem of not allowing someone access to the technology in more complex drones if they happen to go down or the difficulty of recovering a drone capable of carrying 1,500+ pounds of cargo. There’s also the cost savings with such a simple, gliding drone.