Boeing’s New Cargo UAV Prototype Announced

Photo: Boeing

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Boeing has announced its new electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) unmanned cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype that will be used to test and evolve the company’s autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles. It is designed to transport a payload up to 250 kilograms for possible future cargo and logistics applications.

In a very short time, a team of engineers and technicians across the company designed and built the CAV prototype. It successfully completed initial flight tests at Boeing’s Laboratory in Missouri.

The prototype will be used by company researchers as a flying test bed to mature the building blocks of autonomous technology for future applications. Boeing led the development of the CAV prototype, which complements the eVTOL passenger air vehicle prototype aircraft in development by Aurora Flight Sciences, a company acquired by Boeing late last year, according to and a Boeing press release.

“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, a Boeing subsidiary vice president. “The safe integration of unmanned aerial systems is vital to unlocking their full potential.”

Powered by an environmentally-friendly electric propulsion system, the CAV prototype is outfitted with eight counter-rotating blades allowing for vertical flight. It measures 15 feet long (4.57 meters), 18 feet wide (5.49 meters) and 4 feet tall (1.22 meters), and weighs 747 pounds (339 kilograms).