eVTOL Cargo Air Vehicle Takes Off
Boeing unveiled a new unmanned
electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle
(CAV) prototype on Wednesday.
The prototype, which will be used to test and evolve Boeing's
autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles, is designed
to transport a payload up to 500 pounds for possible future cargo
and logistics applications.
Powered by an
environmentally-friendly electric propulsion system, the
prototype is outfitted with eight counter rotating blades allowing
for vertical flight. It measures 15 feet long (4.57 meters), 18
feet wide (5.49 meters) and 4 feet tall (1.22 meters), and weighs
747 pounds (339 kilograms).
"This flying cargo air vehicle
represents another major step in our Boeing eVTOL strategy," said
Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop. "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."
It took less
than three months for a team of engineers and technicians across the
company to design and build the CAV prototype which successfully
completed initial flight tests at Boeing Research & Technology's
Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri.
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 in development by Aurora Flight Sciences, a company
acquired by Boeing late last year.
"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. "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."