Aeronautical engineer and company founder of Windhorse Aerospace, Nigel Gifford, has drawn on his experience designing feeding programs for the British Armed Services to develop a much safer and more useful way to get disaster relief food, water, medicine, and shelter to dangerous or inaccessible places. The Pouncer Disaster-Aid Delivery Drone is an aerial vehicle that believes in waste-not, want-not.

The Pouncer can haul up to 110 pounds of emergency supplies in the hollow portions of its wings and fuselage (they estimate one drone can save up to 50 lives). Once on the ground, the plywood frame can be burned to cook food or for emergency warmth, while the pre-formed plastic shell can be used for shelter. Launched from a C-130 Hercules transport airplane, the Pouncer can glide from 22 to 62 miles to its target, thus avoiding hostile combatants or to reach areas cut off by natural disasters.

The small navigation system can land the Pouncer within 20 feet of its desired target so loss from wayward parachute drops is a thing of the past. The C-130 limits the size of the Pouncer to a 10-foot delta style wingspan and a 5-foot fuselage. With the projected cost (less whatever food or medicine is included) of only a bit over $200, the Pouncer should soon become a blessed sight for many people in dire need. [via]