Boeing develops drone capable of lifting 500 lb

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Boeing has unveiled a new unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype that can be used to transport a payload up to 500 lb for potential cargo and logistics applications.

Greg Hyslop, chief technology officer, Boeing, said, “This flying cargo air vehicle represents another major step in our Boeing eVTOL strategy. We have an opportunity to really change air travel and transport, and we’ll look back on this day as a major step in that journey.”

In less than three months, a team of engineers and technicians across the company designed and built the CAV prototype. It successfully completed initial flight tests at Boeing Research & Technology’s Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri.

Boeing researchers will use the prototype as a flying test bed to mature the building blocks of autonomous technology for future applications. Boeing HorizonX, with its partners in Boeing Research & Technology, led the development of the CAV prototype, which complements the eVTOL passenger air vehicle prototype aircraft being developed by Aurora Flight Sciences, a company acquired by Boeing late last year.

Steve Nordlund, vice president, Boeing HorizonX, said, “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. The safe integration of unmanned aerial systems is vital to unlocking their full potential. Boeing has an unmatched track record, regulatory know-how and systematic approach to deliver solutions that will shape the future of autonomous flight.”

Powered by an environmentally friendly electric propulsion system, the CAV prototype is outfitted with eight counter rotating blades allowing for vertical flight. It measures 15ft long (4.6m), 18ft wide (5.5m) and 4ft tall (1.2m), and weighs 747 lb (339kg).

January 16, 2018

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Dan joined Postal and Parcel Technology International in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As assistant editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editors with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest logistics news, Dan can be found apprehensively planning his next DIY project for his new home.

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