Boeing is working on an unmanned electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype. The system is being used, the company said, “to test and evolve Boeing’s autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles”.
The CAV completed initial flight tests at Boeing Research and Technology’s Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri. The system is 15ft (4.5m) long, 18ft (5.49m) wide and 4ft (1.2m) in height and weighs 747lb (339kg). Powered by an electric engine, it has eight counter-rotating blades and is designed to carry payloads of up to 500lb (226kg).
Boeing engineers and technicians designed and built the CAV prototype in less than three months, with Boeing HorizonX and Boeing Research and Technology leading the development.
Boeing said the CAV complements the separate eVTOL prototype in development by Aurora Flight Sciences, acquired by Boeing in 2017. Aurora says its eVTOL concept is designed to provide on-demand passenger transportation in urban environments. Mark Broadbent