Boeing researchers will use the prototype as a flying test bed to mature the building blocks of autonomous technology for future applications.
U.S. aerospace giant Boeing has unveiled a new prototype for an unmanned electric cargo air vehicle (CAV) that will be used to test and develop the company's autonomous flight technology.
Boeing said in a statement that the cargo air vehicle (CAV) is capable of delivering a payload up to 500 pounds (about 450 kg) for possible future cargo and logistics.
The cargo air vehicle (CAV) is created to transport up to 500 pounds of "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.
Greg Hyslop, chief technology officer of Boeing, said the platform represents a step in the company's eVTOL strategy.
"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 Research & Technology's Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri.
The aircraft, which is 4.57m long, 5.49m wide and 1.22m tall, is powered by an electric propulsion system with custom Boeing batteries and features eight counter rotating blades to allow for vertical flight.
Boeing's HorizonX business collaborated with partners from the company's research and technology division to develop the prototype.
"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, VP of Boeing HorizonX - the manufacturer's venture arm.
Chicago-based Boeing is the world's largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defence, space and security systems.