We can’t say that Droneliner will be emission free. No mode of freight transport currently offers that. But we are planning a path to a greener future. And Droneliner reduces the amount of fuel used to transport cargo by 83% and because that makes sustainable fuels more viable the emissions fall even further.
Droneliner is built with fuel efficiency in mind. It’s at least 40% lighter than any equivalent aircraft and because of the engine placement and technology it’s far more fuel efficient. It requires much less fuel to transport cargo because it’s not carrying people, and it’s not carrying the extra fuel required for crewed aircraft. Whereas today's cargo aircraft can require 200 tons of fuel to transport 50 tons of cargo across the Pacific. Droneliner can transport 200 tons of cargo on 50 tons of fuel. When an Airbus 380 carries 50 tons in weight of people or cargo it requires five times their weight in fuel. And the average jet lands with 39.4 tons of fuel still onboard if it hasn’t been stacked or diverted. Fuel that has been carried, unused, and required even more fuel to carry it! Droneliner is all about lower fuel consumption which means lower emissions.
In addition to the fuel efficiency of the airframe, engine and wings, Droneliner is designed with features to harness the elements of flight that normally work against an aircraft. Using the latest available technology, Droneliner will take the volatile and dirty air that usually causes drag, demanding more fuel energy to compensate, and convert it into either electrical energy through the Wingmill system embedded in the wingtips or use BLI ducting to feed the engine with the boundary layer air along the fuselage.
The electrical energy generated in flight will be stored in battery sleds and can be used for flight controls and ground manoeuvres. The BLI ducting will simply make the engine even more fuel efficient, giving potentially 8% to 15% more efficiency and thus saving more fuel.
All of these elements dramatically reducing the fuel requirements of the Droneliner bring a number of advantages. Firstly, there’s simply less fuel used, reducing comparative emissions when compared to other aircraft. Secondly, the lower fuel requirement of Droneliner allows for the use of the more expensive SAF (Synthetic Aviation Fuel) which is a cleaner, direct replacement for fossil jet fuel and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80%* compared to fossil jet fuel.
Finally, Droneliner is Hydrogen Ready, designed with an intention of full conversion to Green Hydrogen Fuel as it becomes available at scale. Green Hydrogen Fuel is derived from the electrolysis of water, splitting to Hydrogen with the release of Oxygen, which we see as much more sustainable compared to Blue Hydrogen which is still derived from Fossil Fuels leaving an excess of CO2 to dispose of. And when Green Hydrogen is processed using sustainable power such as sunshine then it’s the best solution. With the only emission in the air being the water produced as the Hydrogen mixes with Oxygen in the air and combines back to H2O.
Our vision is a fleet of Droneliners around the world, operating sustainably on Green Hydrogen and not only bringing what people need in terms of normal day-to-day deliveries but also serving the delivery of disaster relief and essential medicines.
* Calculated with established life cycle assessment (LCA) methodologies, such as CORSIA methodology.
Contact us to find out more about Droneliner and how it can change the way airfreight is delivered.