Boeing unveils unmanned electric cargo air vehicle prototype

An image of Boeing's unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing cargo air vehicle prototype

An image of Boeing's unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing cargo air vehicle prototype

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) on Wednesday unveiled a new unmanned, electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) cargo plane that the company plans to use to test and develop Boeing's autonomous aircraft technology for future vehicles.

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

Led by Boeing's innovative HorizonX arm, the technology greatly compliments the eVTOL passenger vehicle prototype aircraft that is now in development at the Boeing-owned Aurora Flight Sciences.

The CAV is designed with a payload of 226kg for "possible future cargo and logistics applications".

It took less than three months for a team of Boeing engineers and technicians to design and build the CAV prototype.

"We have an opportunity to really change air travel and transport, and we'll look back on this day as a major step in that journey", he said. It successfully completed initial flight tests at Boeing's research lab in Missouri.

The company plans to use the prototype as a flying test bed in the development of autonomous technology for future applications.

"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", Boeing HorizonX vice president Steve Nordlund said.

Measuring 15 feet long and 18 feet wide, the aircraft itself weighs 747 pounds, with eight counter rotating blades enabling the CAV to fly. Boeing has an unmatched track record, regulatory know-how and systematic approach to deliver solutions that will shape the future of autonomous flight.

Chicago-based Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defence, space and security systems.

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