Boeing Unveils VTOL Drone for Cargo Transport

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Boeing's electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) unmanned cargo aerial vehicle (CAV) prototype. Its dimensions settle at 4 ft tall, 15 ft long, and 18 ft wide.

Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop added that the CAV is a "major step" in the company's eVTOL strategy.

"Chicago-based Boeing's development of the environmentally-friendly electric propulsion system comes as the race intensifies to advance battery technology and electric motors to lower flying costs and move away from fossil fuels", Reuters notes.

Boeing websiteBoeing unveils cargo drone that could transport up to 500 pounds of load.

The drone's eight propeller vertical-liftoff "quadcopter" design makes such a drone appropriate for deployment in shorter-range last-mile, or perhaps short-distance deliveries between clustered Distribution Centers.

The eVTOL cargo air vehicle, announced on Wednesday, is created to transport a payload up to 500 pounds, and will aid in future cargo and logistic applications, the company 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". "We fully expect partners around the world will create new ways of applying this technology".

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

While we aren't likely to see Boeing's drones delivering couches and groceries any time soon, there are a number of important takeaways worth considering. "Boeing has the regulatory know-how and systematic approach to deliver solutions that will shape the future of autonomous flight".

According to Boeing, the CAV project took less than three months to complete. It is closely related to the eVTOL passenger air vehicle that Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight sciences is developing. The innovative drone is now called the "unmanned cargo air vehicle", although a more catchy name is expected to follow when the drone goes into commercial production.

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