Boeing today unveiled a prototype unmanned electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle (CAV) capable of carrying payloads up to 500 pounds. Powered by an electric propulsion system and eight contra-rotating blades allowing for vertical flight, the aircraft measures 15 feet long, 18 feet wide, four feet tall, and weighs 747 pounds.
The CAV will be used to test and evolve Boeing’s autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles. 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.
It was developed in less than three months by a project team of engineers and technicians across the company and successfully completed initial flight tests at Boeing Research & Technology’s Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri.
“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 Boeing HorizonX vice president Steve Nordlund. “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.”