A trial project is underway in China for the delivery of mail to outlying islands using an amphibious UAV.
According to China Daily, a Shanghai UVS Intelligence System U650 cargo UAV made the country's first postal delivery on 29 May, delivering 200kg of goods from Shanghai to Shengsi Island. The company is working with China Post on the project.
The report quotes UVS founder Liu Jiandong as saying that the entire route was above water, which eliminates concerns about safety when operating UAVs over land.
The flight took 52 minutes, compared with two to three hours by boat. More trials to outer islands on China's eastern seaboard are planned in the coming months.
According to the UVS web site, the U650 is based on the Colyaer Freedom S100 amphibian. The aircraft requires a ground control station in a truck.
The aircraft has four hard points that can carry payloads for military and parapublic missions. These include electronic jamming equipment, missiles, sonar, search and rescue radar, life rafts, and an electro-optical/infrared turret.