Boeing's prototype cargo drone can haul loads up to 500 pounds

14 January, 2018, 17:38 | Author: Regina Silva
  • Boeing  YouTube

"This flying cargo air vehicle represents another major step in our Boeing eVTOL strategy", said Boeing chief technology officer Greg Hyslop in a statement.

Ultimately, Boeing wants to use the autonomous drone for large-scale cargo delivery.

Boeing told our sister publication Air Cargo World, that the end goal was "market-driven solutions that will someday offer customers the ability to carry hundreds of pounds over broad distances in a way that makes it useful and relevant to them".

Also, while we write about electric vehicles every day and increasingly have written about VTOL aircraft, it was interesting to see that Boeing chose to abbreviate "electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing" as "eVTOL". The aerial vehicle is outfitted with eight counter rotating blades for vertical flight and utilizes an environmentally-friendly electric propulsion system.

Boeing today unveiled a giant drone that's capable of lifting a 500 pound payload.

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The aerospace company expects that once mature, the technology tested on this prototype will revolutionize time-sensitive deliveries, particularly in unsafe environments and areas lacking proper transportation infrastructure. This could include oil rig and ship resupply, port operations, mining, construction, and logistics companies that move goods between distribution centers.

"Our new CAV prototype builds on Boeing's existing unmanned systems capabilities and presents new possibilities for autonomous cargo delivery, logistics and other transportation applications", said Steve Nordlund, Boeing HorizonX vice president.

Even though it is now controlled by a remote, The makers intend to use it as a flying test bed for the development of autonomous technologies and electric propulsion.

The 4.57-meter long, 5.49-meter wide, and 1.22-meter tall prototype was hastily made in less than three months by a group of Boeing engineers and technicians. The copter has already completed the initial flight test successfully at Boeing Research and Technology's Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri.

Specifics related to the drone's top speed and range were not shared.

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