To deliver a packet of chocolate per drone over a distance of 70 to 75 kilometers: it would be a new world record, and Yordi Verbeeren (19) from Belgium is going to do it. The aviation student at the Vives University in Ostend is quite ready for his record attempt: he already has a location and a drone.
All in all, the challenge seems quite simple. Yordi must bring a parcel of chocolate from point A to B, which is about 75 kilometers apart. If he succeeds, he is pulverizing the current record, which is only fifteen kilometers. “With today’s technology, this is absolutely possible,” Yordi says.
The plans are already very concrete. Somewhere between 25 and 28 September, Yordi will take a drone on the beach of Oostende, and have it fly a route by the sea. It won’t be radio-controlled, but it will have a pre-programmed flight plan. “The drone I will use, is not one you can buy in a local store,” he explains. “It’s a DT18, a device that was developed in Belgium and France – at the moment, they are working on the latest details in Toulouse. Then the drone comes to Belgium and my team will make some adjustments, especially at the technical level. After a series of test flights, we will be ready for the big day!”
The record attempt is largely Belgian. The DT18 was developed by Ghent’s Delair-Tech. The chocolate is then delivered by Zoet, a candy shop from Londerzeel. And that chocolate will be used in a chocolate fountain of Krëfel, also the main sponsor of the project. “I happened to stumble on the idea,” continues Yordi. “I started my third year of aviation, and to place unmanned aviation in the spotlight, I wanted to do something special. This record attempt – which will also be included in the Guinness Book of Records – fully fits in that picture. Drones, and by extension unmanned aviation, will control and change our daily lives. The application possibilities are huge. Hospitals can use it for example to transport medicines or blood plasma.”
The record attempt will also be followed by a live stream on the internet. Only a rainy day can spoil the attempt. “Therefore, we give ourselves a ‘window’ of four days. The record attempt is more likely to succeed in sunny weather. The DT18 is designed so that wind does not affect it. We also chose Koksijde Beach because we are not bothered by restricted areas,. Belgian legislation is very strict about that. ”
Yordi also looks beyond the record attempt in Koksijde. “As mentioned, we are limited by law in Belgium, but in France we may reach a distance of 120 kilometers, which may be legal, so why not try again there?”