Boeing Unveils VTOL Drone for Cargo Transport

Boeing Unveils VTOL Drone for Cargo Transport

Greg Hyslop, chief technology officer of Boeing, said the platform represents a step in the company's eVTOL strategy.

On Wednesday January 10 Boeing tweeted out a video of its newest autonomous air vehicle.

Boeing this week showcased its new unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing cargo air vehicle that can carry a payload of up to 500 pounds. It is created to transport a payload up to 500 pounds for possible future cargo and logistics applications.

Boeing said the prototype is destined to serve as a testbed for future cargo drones, alongside efforts to figure out just how to get fleets of autonomous aircraft integrated with other commercial flights. In terms of its dimensions the aerial craft is and is 4.5 meters (15 feet) long, 5.4 meters (18 feet) wide and 1.2 meters (4 feet) tall.

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David Neely of Boeing Research & Technology said that the drone would eventually be able to deliver up to 227 kilograms of cargo within a fifteen- to thirty-kilometer radius, adding that it could, "change the way we deliver goods". The prototype would be powered by an environmentally friendly electric propulsion system and outfitted with eight counter-rotating blades. "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".

A team of engineers and technicians for the worldwide aerospace company moved fast to build it, creating a flying prototype in less than three months.

Cargo is not the only one Boeing is interested in transporting using VTOL technology. This market is of great interest not only to express carriers, but also to e-tailers such as Seattle-based Amazon.com and Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com, which are constantly exploring methods of reducing fulfillment and delivery costs against a backdrop of growing demand for e-commerce deliveries.

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