Bell APT lifts 60 lbs in 2019, USA.

The Bell Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) 70 biplane tailsitter drone completed its first beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight on Jan. 16, traveling along a 10-mile (16-km) path at Choctaw Nation test site under the FAA UAS Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP). Bell announced that the APT 70 flight test program has now completed over 120 flights, including an 18-mile (29-km) flight with a 60-lb (27-kg) payload at Bell’s Flight Research Center in Arlington, Texas. Bell continues to test the vehicles’ endurance and range capabilities and plans to fly the APT 70 through the Dallas-Fort Worth area later this year under NASA’s Systems Integration and Operationalization (SIO) demonstration. Bell is also working with Japanese logistics company Yamato Holdings on a detachable cargo pod (see “Cargo eVTOL Matures,” Vertiflite, March/April 2020, pg. 54).

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