Boeing has recently unveiled a new unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype. Designed to transport payloads of up to 226.79kg (500 pounds), the CAV prototype is expected to form the foundation of Boeing’s autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles.
Outfitted with eight counter rotating blades for vertical flight, the CAV prototype measure 4.57 metres long, 5.49 metres wide, and 1.22 metres tall. Weighing 339 kilograms, the unit is powered by an electric propulsion system.
Greg Hyslop, CTO of 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."
The prototype was developed as part of a collaboration between Boeing HorizonX and Boeing Research & Technology. It is hoped that the platform will serve as a flying test bed to trial autonomous technology concepts for future applications.
Additionally, the CAV prototype complements the eVTOL passenger air vehicle prototype aircraft in development by Boeing’s recent acquisition, Aurora Flight Sciences.
Steve Nordlund, Boeing HorizonX vice president, 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."