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Aerospace giant Boeing has successfully completed the first outdoor flight tests of the cargo air vehicle (CAV), its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle. The UAV successfully took off, hovered, transitioned to forward flight and then landed safely – all in a safe and controlled environment.

Powered by an electric propulsion system, the CAV is designed to carry a payload up to 500 pounds (227 kilograms). This opens up new possibilities for safely and efficiently transporting goods in a variety of industries, according to

Since it was unveiled in 2018, the CAV has evolved from an initial concept to a prototype air vehicle. Its design was refined through rigorous indoor testing, flight simulations and lab research.

The vehicle now features six dual-rotor systems and 12 propellers. It measures 17.5 feet long (5.33 meters), 20 feet wide (6.1 meters) and 5 feet tall (1.52 meters), and weighs 1,100 pounds (498.95 kilograms).

Boeing NeXt is leading the introduction of future air vehicles and the new mobility ecosystem that will enable operations in urban, regional and global markets through advanced urban air modeling and simulation. It strives to create a world in which autonomous and piloted air vehicles safely coexist. In addition to the CAV, the Boeing NeXt portfolio includes the passenger air vehicle.

In the coming months, Boeing will continue to advance the development of the CAV with flight testing focused on forward flight, loads analysis and vehicle performance.

According to Boeing website, NeXT is creating transportation and cargo solutions by uniting research and development efforts in autonomous flight and advanced propulsion across the company and its partners.

Their portfolio includes prototyping activities and programs that span the Boeing enterprise, including passenger and cargo air vehicles, commercial small autonomous systems and passenger-carrying hypersonic aircraft.