In just three months, Boeing engineers built a prototype of an unmanned aerial vehicle with a payload of 500 pounds (slightly more than 225 kilograms). The company successfully conducted a test flight of the drone on the test site in Missouri and continues to work on the project.
What kind of beast?
A giant drone with 8 propellers running on electricity. In length it is 4.6 meters, in width - 5.5 meters, and in height - 1.2 meters. The whole structure weighs almost 340 kilograms. The capacity of the batteries fixed on the metal frame and the estimated flight time are not reported. The first test sample does not use the autopilot system, but future versions will be able to fly without the help of a human.
Why is it Boeing? The company is exploring the possibility of using such devices for commercial purposes. Fast vertical climbing machines are not only suitable for delivering orders to end customers. Similarly, logistics companies can transport large loads between warehouses and / or sorting centers.
And not only this
Last fall, Boeing also bought the company Aurora Flight Science, which developed for DARPA UAVs with vertical take-off and is one of Uber's partners in creating an autonomous aerotax.
The interests of the airline concern other types of flying transport. Last year, Boeing launched a competition for the best jet pack with a prize fund of $ 2 million. The competition Go Fly Prize consists of three stages and will last until the fall of 2019. The winner will receive 1 million dollars.