Boeing plans to use its new CAV prototype to test and evolve its autonomy technology



Boeing has unveiled a new unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype. The CAV prototype will be used to “test and evolve Boeing's autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles.”

Powered by an environmentally-friendly electric propulsion system, and outfitted with eight counter rotating blades that allow for vertical flight, the CAV prototype is designed to transport a payload up to 500 pounds for possible future cargo and logistics applications.

“This flying cargo air vehicle represents another major step in our Boeing eVTOL strategy,” says Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop. “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.”

The CAV prototype, which complements the eVTOL passenger air vehicle prototype aircraft that is currently being developed by Aurora Flight Sciences, was designed and built in less than three months by a team of Boeing engineers and technicians.

Boeing HorizonX, along with its partners in Boeing Research & Technology, led the development of 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,” says Steve Nordlund, Boeing HorizonX vice president.

“The safe integration of unmanned aerial systems is vital to unlocking their full potential.”

The CAV prototype, which successfully completed initial flight tests at Boeing Research & Technology's Collaborative Autonomous Systems Laboratory in Missouri, will be used by Boeing researchers as a “flying test bed” to advance the building blocks of autonomous technology for future applications.