German air taxi manufacturer Volocopter launched a self-developed heavy-duty drone in public for the first time on Tuesday at the ITS World Congress in Hamburg.

In cooperation with German logistics provider DB Schenker, the company demonstrated the integration of the VoloDrone into logistics supply chains.

The test flight, which lasted about three minutes, took place around the harbor area of the city in northern Germany. The ITS congress is an international digital transport event.

DB Schenker, a subsidiary of Germany’s national rail operator, Deutsche Bahn, became an investor in Volocopter last year. For the logistics simulation, the electric load drone was outfitted with a loading box, stocked up and flown to a DB Schenker cargo bike.

Alternative to traditional transport

The “Volodrone” is equipped with 18 rotors, is unmanned and electrically powered. It can transport ISO pallets of all sizes, weighing up to 200 kilograms (441 pounds), and has a range of 40 kilometers (25…