Freight Boeing unveils unmanned Cargo Air Vehicle prototype

Boeing has introduced a new unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) prototype. The multi-copter will be used for Cargo services. Initial flight tests have been completed.

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The cargo air vehicle (CAV) is designed to operate electric vertical takeoffs and landings (eVTOL). It can carry a payload of up to 500 pounds and is intended to be used for future cargo and logistics applications. Boeing said, they aim to “develop and mature the building blocks of autonomy and electric propulsion.”

Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop 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 designed and assembled in three months at Boeing Research & Technology's Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri. The flying test bed is planned to be used for research in the autonomous technology.

The new unmanned aerial vehicle prototype

Boeing HorizonX led the development of the CAV prototype. 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.”

At the end of 2017, Boeing acquired the company Aurora Flight Sciences, which will complement the eVTOL prototype development.

15 feet long (4.57 meters), 18 feet wide (5.49 meters) and 4 feet tall (1.22 meters) measures the CAV. The vehicle is equipped with an electric propulsion system and eight counter rotating blades. This arrangement allows vertical flight. The weight is 747 pounds (339 kilograms).

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