Mount Everest receives historic first drone delivery at 20,000 feet

  • A drone just delivered oxygen tanks and supplies to Mount Everest
  • It traversed the dangerous and deadly Khumbu Icefall
  • This remarkable achievement will be both useful and life-saving

Published on Jun 10, 2024 at 8:29 PM (UTC+4)
by Andie Reeves

Last updated on Jun 10, 2024 at 8:29 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

Mount Everest just received its first drone delivery.

This mission was carried out by a Chinese drone company along with local guides.

It was able to deliver 15 kilograms at 20,000 feet above sea level (ASL).

This achievement is huge, having the potential to be life-saving.

READ MORE: Father and son team up to create world’s fastest drone that reaches 480 km/h

DJI along with another drone company, Airlift, teamed up with a Nepalese mountain guide to fly the world’s first successful delivery drones to Everest.

The DJI FlyCart 30 was able to deliver three oxygen bottles and 3.3 pounds of other supplies at an altitude of 20,000 feet ASL.

Not only will this endeavour be able to send climbers life-saving supplies but it will also help to keep the mountain clean.

The drone mission to Mount Everest

Drones are being used to do incredible things.

From scraping the ice off power lines to delivering packages for Walmart, there’s no denying they’re making the lives of humans easier.

DJI’s FlyCart 30 flew between Everest Base Camp and Camp 1, which are separated by Khumbu Icefall.

While helicopters can make this trip, they rarely do, due to how unsafe and expensive it is.

DJI engineers took the extreme temperatures, high wind speeds, and high altitude into account before running this test flight.

The drone has a 33-pound payload, able to carry three oxygen tanks with room for a few more supplies.

The trip, which would take climbers between four and six hours, took just 12 minutes for the drone.

On its way back it carried a load of trash.

How drones can improve the lives of climbers and guides

Everest is one of the most dangerous climbs in the world.

Even the closest airport is considered one of the scariest airports in the world.

Numerous climbers have lost their lives trying to make it through this treacherous route to the summit, and some of the bodies of those who died remain on the mountain to this day, as it’s so difficult to get them down.

Drones will make it quicker and easier to transport crucial supplies to climbers in need.

They can also improve the lives of the local Sherpa guides while keeping the mountain clean.

Usually, it’s up to the guides to carry supplies like oxygen bottles, gas canisters, food, rope, and tents, as well as trash during a climb.

These guides can lead up to 30 climbs a season, which means 30 dangerous icefall crossings.

If DJI’s drones can do heavy lifting then the guides will be able to more safely traverse the icefall.

And instead of them having to carry the climbers’ trash for the whole trip, they can offload it to the drone during one of its round trips.

Everest’s climbing season is closed at the moment so we’ll have to wait a few months to see these drones in action again.

“Finally, technology has been used in a useful way,” one commenter said.

“Mount Everest received a drone delivery before GTA 6 dropped,” another commenter said.

# Tags - Tech


Andie Reeves

Andie is a content writer from South Africa with a background in broadcasting and journalism. Starting her career in the glossy pages of Cosmopolitan and Marie Claire, Andie has a broad portfolio, covering everything from sustainability solutions to celebrity car collections. When not at her laptop Andie can be found sewing, recording her podcast, taking board games too seriously or road-tripping in her bright green Kia.