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Boeing reveals eVTOL cargo air vehicle prototype

LBR Staff Writer Published 11 January 2018

Boeing has revealed a prototype of the new unmanned electric vertical-takeoff and landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle (CAV).

Based on autonomous technology, the new unmanned air vehicle is being developed for transporting a payload up to 500 pounds for possible future cargo and logistics applications.

The company’s engineers and technicians worked on the new CAV prototype and completed initial flight tests at Boeing Research & Technology's Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri.

Boeing HorizonX, along with Boeing Research & Technology, has involved in the development of CAV prototype.

It complements the eVTOL passenger air vehicle prototype aircraft in development by Aurora Flight Sciences, which was acquired by Boeing in 2017.

Featuring an electric propulsion system, the CAV prototype includes eight counter rotating blades for vertical flight.

The new unmanned vehicle, which weighs 747 pounds (339kg), is 15ft (4.57m) long, 18ft (5.49) wide and 4ft (1.22m) tall.

Boeing said that it will use the prototype as a flying test bed to mature the building blocks of autonomous technology for future applications.

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."

HorizonX vice president Steve Nordlund 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.”

Based in Chicago, Boeing manufactures commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems.

Image: Boeing’s new unmanned cargo air vehicle prototype. Photo: courtesy of Boeing.