Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Boeing's New Prototype Cargo Drone Can Carry up to 500 Pounds

Boeing's New Prototype Cargo Drone Can Carry up to 500 Pounds

Boeing's experience in working with regulatory agencies however, could rapidly advance this technology, and pave the way for larger unmanned commercial cargo drones.

The aerospace giant, which calls the prototype unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL), says it was made as a precursor to Boeing's autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles.

"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", said Steve Nordlund, VP of Boeing HorizonX - the manufacturer's venture arm. What Boeing is modeling and creating for large-scale cargo deliveries could very well be similar to the technology we'd one day see on a flying Uber.

The news is a development that Boeing's chief technology officer Greg Hyslop said would, "change air travel and transport..."

It measures 15 feet long, 18 feet wide and four feet tall and weighs 747 pounds (that specific weight probably isn't a coincidence).


The transport is powered by an environmentally-friendly electric propulsion system and has eight counter rotating blades allowing for vertical flight. Boeing, however, just revealed a new cargo drone that's capable of lifting 500 pounds.

The aerospace company expects that once mature, the technology tested on this prototype will revolutionize time-sensitive deliveries, particularly in unsafe environments and areas lacking proper transportation infrastructure. Perhaps we should start using that acronym as well.

A team of engineers and technicians across the company designed and built the CAV prototype in less than three months, Boeing said.

Even though it is now controlled by a remote, The makers intend to use it as a flying test bed for the development of autonomous technologies and electric propulsion.

That's also a market in which Amazon.com and Chinese e-commerce retailer JD.com are very active, adding an element of competition, as retailers and logistics companies rush to cut costs against a backdrop of growing demand for e-commerce deliveries.

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