Yamaha's Flying Fish

Imagine having your fish meal delivered from the ocean to your restaurant table by a remote-control helicopter! The idea may not be as outrageous as you think.

A recent field study collaboration between Yamaha and Japan Airlines revealed that using the airborne technology of the FAZER UAV helicopter drastically reduced the cost and delivery time for fresh fish. 

To prove the idea’s viability, a crew of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd engineers undertook the challenge to transport 20kg of freshly-caught fish from a supplier on the island of Nakadori to the city of Saikai on the island of Kyusyu – a distance of 35km. Japan Airlines would then handle the second leg to Tokyo, ensuring the catch was on a restaurant table that evening. 


                                                                                                   Watch the fascinating fish transport project film produced by Japan Airlines

To make sure the fish remained cold and fresh, the Sky engineers fitted an insulated box beneath a FAZER. The combined weight of the box and fish cargo was well below the helicopter’s impressive 35kg payload carrying capacity.  

Using the FAZER’s Beyond Vision Line of Sight (BVLoS) satellite guidance technology, the Yamaha UAV was able to carry its cargo on a 35km cross-ocean journey in just 40 minutes. The haul of fresh fish was then loaded onto a Japan Airlines flight destined for Tokyo.

Yamaha pilots situated at the departure and landing points visually handled the take-off and landing of the FAZER by remote control. However, the overwater journey was undertaken using the FAZER’s BVLoS satellite guidance technology. With the unmanned helicopter flying 100m above sea level, at an average speed of 52km/h, a team of engineers located almost 800km away at Yamaha’s Unmanned Systems office, monitored the FAZER’s progress via video link, while vital data was relayed to the team via satellite. 

By taking the most direct route, the flying fish glided over traffic jams, and avoided missed ferry connections that often plague the traditional methods of transportation. On the first attempt, the delivery time was slashed from the usual three hours to just 40 minutes. 

Since the initial flight in 2020, the collaboration between Yamaha and Japan Airlines has continued to evolve. Lessons learned from challenges experienced and overcome during the first and subsequent flights has seen a continued reduction in delivery times.

Learn more about Sky Division’s FAZER helicopter, and the remarkable projects Sky Division are involved with at the Sky Division web page.

Sky Division and the Yamaha Motor Group is engaged in business activities around the world, with the corporate mission of being a Kando Creating Company— offering new excitement and a more fulfilling life for people all over the world. Read more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Yamaha Motor. 

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