Boeing's Cargo Drone Prototype Is Huge

Boeing  YouTube

Boeing YouTube

The news is a development that Boeing's chief technology officer Greg Hyslop said would, "change air travel and transport..." The manufacturer said this new unmanned, electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) aircraft prototype is also a test bed for future vehicles. 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). "We'll look back on this day as a major step in that journey". The craft is operated using an electric propulsion system; Boeing's prototype has eight helicopter-like rotors, allowing for vertical flight. While analysts have predicted for some time now that drones are on course to transform the logistics sector, Boeing's additional aerospace muscle represents a seismic shakeup of the industry, with the Chicago-based company now plowing its extensive technology and resources into developing this still incipient technology. While Boeing have provided the size and weight of the drone, other data, such as, official flight capabilities including range or speed has not been released.

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The aerospace company said that the technology tested on this prototype will "open up new possibilities for delivering time-sensitive and high-value goods, conducting autonomous missions in remote or unsafe environments, and other cargo and logistics applications. We fully expect partners around the world will create new ways of applying this technology". However, that's not too unsurprising, given it's unlikely Boeing will mass produce this particular drone. It recently completed its first series of test flights at Boeing's research lab in Missouri.

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The Boeing prototype drone can haul some 226 kilos (or 500 pounds) of goods. "Boeing has an unmatched track record, regulatory know-how and systematic approach to deliver solutions that will shape the future of autonomous flight". Even more impressive is the fact that Boeing engineers went from a concept on paper to a working example in just three months.

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