China succeeds world’s first drone delivery to Mount Everest

China completes world’s first drone delivery to Mount Everest

/ 08:20 AM July 09, 2024

Chinese gadget firm DJI successfully pulled off the world’s first drone delivery to Mount Everest. The company used its DJI FlyCart 30, which can carry 15kg payloads in the extreme altitudes and environmental conditions of the mountain. 

Local guides called sherpas traditionally carried supplies and cleared trash for mountain climbers. Unfortunately, this role is dangerous and potentially fatal.

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Deploying drones could reduce risks to sherpas by taking over light deliveries. Soon, these machines may assist mountain climbers outside Tibet. 


How did the drone delivery to Mount Everest work?

DJI means “Da Jiang Innovations,” with “Da Jiang” being the Chinese word for “General Innovations.” Like a true general, the company led a record drone delivery achievement. 

It collaborated with Nepalese drone service company Airlift, video production company 8KRAW, and local mountain guide Mingma Gyalje Sherpa to conduct initial tests.

DJI engineers used their results to create a drone that can fly and remain stable in Everest’s extreme conditions. These include temperatures between -15° to 5°C, wind speeds reaching 15m/s, and altitudes over 6,000m ASL. 

Then, they conducted trials for unloaded hover and weight capacity.


As a result, they built the DJI FlyCart 30, and the engineers put it to the test with the most challenging drone delivery yet. 

In April, the flying machine transported three oxygen bottles and 1.5kg of other supplies from Everest Base Camp to Camp 1. Then, the FlyCart brought trash on its return trip. 


“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.

The official website says sherpas crossed the icefall over 30 times during the climbing season to transport supplies. Mingma Gyalje Sherpa explained the journey is highly dangerous:

“Last year I lost three Sherpas. If we’re not lucky, if our time is not right, we lose our life there.”

The successful trials encouraged the Nepalese government to contract a local drone service company, which will establish drone delivery operations near Everest. 

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It will enhance sherpa safety and facilitate delivery and waste retrieval in the world’s tallest mountain. Soon, other countries may deploy drones for these purposes.

TOPICS: drone deliveries, technology
TAGS: drone deliveries, technology

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