Google might be working on two new styles of delivery drone, according to FAA filings spotted by Engadget. The two new UAVs might be the next things tested by Google X, the company's experimental division, following the failure of Project Wing earlier this year.
The two aircraft — named M2 and B3, for now — were registered with the FAA earlier this month. Just how different they may be from Project Wing remains to be seen. All we know is that each is registered with the FAA as a "fixed wing multi-engine" electric aircraft, and that Astro Teller, the head of Google X, told The Wall Street Journal earlier this year that the company was already working on a design that "moves away from the single-wing-based approach."
The new aircraft will likely replace Project Wing
Little else can be gleaned from the filings other than that the paperwork was filed using Google's Boulder, Colorado address and not with the company's California headquarters. But coupled with information obtained by The Guardian in August, it seems that these new drones would weigh up to 55 pounds and be capable of speeds up to 100 miles per hour. That sounds much more like an Amazon drone-delivery competitor than Project Wing ever did.
Project Wing was a single-wing delivery drone meant to be used in disaster relief situations, was capable of vertical takeoffs and landings, had a wingspan of about 5 feet, and weighed just under 19 pounds. Google had previously been testing Project Wing over private land that it was leasing from NASA. To fly outdoors over public land you have to file with the FAA, so it appears Google is ready to move its delivery UAV program into a new round of testing.