Boeing has unveiled an unmanned electric vertical take-off and landing cargo air vehicle prototype that will be used to test and develop Boeing’s autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles.
It is designed to transport a payload up to 500 pounds (225 kilos) for possible future cargo and logistics applications.
Powered by an electric propulsion system, the cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype has eight counter rotating blades allowing for vertical flight. It measures 15 feet long (4.57m), 18 feet wide (5.49m) and 4 feet tall (1.22m), and weighs 747 pounds (339 kilos).
Last year, Boeing acquired Aurora Flight Sciences which has been developing a passenger electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) prototype.
“Our new CAV prototype builds on Boeing’s existing unmanned systems capabilities and presents new possibilities for autonomous cargo delivery, logistics and other transport 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.”
Boeing’s chief technology officer Greg Hyslop said: “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.”