The Flying Donkey Challenge

Dear friends,

Although only five months young, dronologista blog has grown and needs a new attire.

As of 1st of September, moves to a new hosting, new address and slightly changes the appearance . Content will remain the same, and dronologista will continue to provide information about non-military drones only.


Africa is the second largest continent on Earth in terms of land area and population. Recently it is experiencing staggering economic growth, that is higher than that of East Asia. However, in terms of infrastructure, African countries are left far behind. Road network is underdeveloped, and often the best way to get from point A to point B is the air transport. And that is where The Flying Donkey Challenge kicks in, aiming to drive innovation, technical/design excellence, safety, collaboration and the foundations to implement large-scale unmanned civilian air cargo delivery services in Africa and beyond.

The goal of the challenge is simple: The Flying Donkey should fly around Mount Kenya in under 24 hours, delivering and collecting 20 kilo payloads along the way, and first Flying Donkey to finish it, wins the prize. But what is the Flying Donkey in the first place? In the propositions of the challenge, it is defined as a ‘an unmanned cargo aircraft with a maximum takeoff weight of 60 kilograms (i.e. fixed wing, rotary or lighter than air aircraft)’.

Mount KEnya

Mount Kenya

Challenge itself is divided into four separate tracks to address the various issues and find the best solutions:

1. Technology (sense & avoid, GPS denied navigation, safety systems etc.)
2. Legal (regulation & certification, responsibility and liability etc.)

3. Logistics (ground handling, air operations, warehousing, operating costs)

4. Design (ground station, business plan competition, simulations etc.)

Starting in November 2014, number of events will be held in Africa in order to demonstrate progress in each track. Once all tracks have achieved their objectives, teams will be able to enter the Flying Donkey Challenge.

Organized by La Fondation Bundi and the Swiss National Centre of Competence for Research in Robotics (NCCR), supported by IBM research and Swiss World Cargo, The Flying Donkey Challenge is an exciting example of application of drones for the benefit of human kind.

Dronologista will keep an eager eye on this topic

More information:


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