Cargo Air Vehicle (CAV)
The Boeing Company
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Boeing completed initial flight tests of an electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) unmanned cargo air vehicle (CAV) prototype in 2017. The company says, "The innovative platform is designed to test and evolve Boeing’s autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles."
Boeing engineers designed and built the CAV prototype in less than three months. The vehicle stands 4 feet high and measures 15 by 18 feet, weighing more than 700 pounds. It is outfitted with eight counter-rotating propeller blades and custom Boeing batteries. Researchers are transforming the remote control-operated CAV prototype into an autonomous aircraft capable of carrying up to 500 pounds. "The technology opens up new possibilities for delivering time-sensitive and high-value goods, conducting autonomous missions in remote or dangerous environments, and other applications," the company says.
The initial prototype flight testing was completed in 2018, which included taking off and landing in Boeing's Ridley Park wind tunnel. Boeing debuted the first sub-model of the CAV concept at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow.
To ensure safe flight operations, the CAV always flies within designated airspace and it is equipped with automated safety features that can command it to land. In the coming months, the test team will continue to focus on forward flight, load analysis and performance.
- Boeing news release, Oct. 3, 2019
In 2019, the first flights were made outdoors, including flights up to 20 kt, announced in Oct. 2019. after more than 90 outdoor hovering and low-speed translation tests.
Characteristics (updated February 2018):
- Boeing news release: Unlocking the Future of Flying, Jan. 10, 2018
- Boeing video: Boeing's New Autonomous Air Vehicle Prototype, Jan. 10, 2018
- Press Release: Heavy lifter: Boeing reveals new design concept of Cargo Air Vehicle, Boeing, July 16, 2018
- Article: Boeing Exploring Autonomy, LIDAR in Future Air Cargo Aircraft, Avionics, July 24, 2018
- Article: Boeing Registers "CV2" eVTOL, evtol.news, Sep 3, 2018
- Article: Boeing CAV Flies Free, evtol.news, Jun 30, 2019
- Article: Boeing Moves Forward With CAV, evtol.news, Nov 4, 2019