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May 16, 2019 | FAA, News

Boeing successfully completes first outdoor test of its cargo drone

Boeing recently announced that it has successfully completed its first outdoor flight test of its experimental cargo air vehicle (CAV). The eVTOL CAV managed to take off, hover, transition to forward flight, and land safely. This latest development opens up new possibilities for transporting goods in a variety of industries.

Outfitted with an electric propulsion system, the CAV can carry a payload weighing up to 500 pounds. Though not commonly used right now, cargo vehicles possess great potential as valuable delivery tools when regulations supporting drone delivery become more commonplace.

Boeing first introduced the CAV as a concept in the beginning of 2018. The engineering team developed it into a fully-functioning prototype through a series of lab tests, flight simulations, and indoor testing.

Boeing’s chief technology officer, Greg Hyslop, said: “In one year, we have progressed from a conceptual design to a flying prototype. Boeing’s expertise and innovation have been critical in developing aviation as the world’s safest and most efficient form of transportation, and we will continue to lead with a safe, innovative and responsible approach to new mobility solutions.”

The CAV now features six dual-rotor systems and 12 propellers. It measures 17.5 feet long, 20 feet wide by 5 feet tall, and weighs 1,100 pounds. In addition to the CAV, the Boeing NeXt portfolio includes the passenger air vehicle which, when ready for launch, will be able to travel up to 50 miles.

Google’s Wing paved the way for commercial drone delivery by receiving the first Air Carrier Certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration late last month. It only makes sense that other major players continue to work on developments to facilitate unmanned deliveries. “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,” says Boeing.