Established in 2021, CargoTron is a British-Turkish start-up with the goal to provide less-than-truckload air cargo service using hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft. The company sees the last-mile and middle-mile cargo to be increasingly difficult to provide timely shipments to business to business customers in crowded urban areas. The company predicts their cargo aircraft will be able to deliver express shipments in crowded large cities on-time. The business customer only needs a 13 meter in diameter clear area for their aircraft to land.
The PD250 is an autonomous or remotely piloted hybrid-electric VTOL multicopter cargo aircraft with tandem wings that has a cargo pod attached to the bottom of the fuselage. The aircraft has a range of 600 km (378 m) and has a maximum payload of 250 kg (551 kg). The aircraft has six dedicated VTOL propellers located on two booms and one rear pusher propeller attached to the top of a vertical stabilizer which is located on top of the rear of the fuselage. When landing, each wing folds down to the vertical and at the end of each wing is a fixed wheel for the landing gear.
The width of the aircraft with its wings extended is 7.2 m (23 ft, 7.46 in) and with the wings in the landing (or down) position, the width of the aircraft is 3.75 m (12 ft, 3.75 in). The length of the aircraft is 4.65 m (15 ft, 3.07 in) and the height is 3.55 m (11 ft, 7.76 in). The cargo pod's dimensions are 2.5 m in length (8 ft, 2.43 in) and its width is .7 m (2 ft, 3.56 in).
The cargo pod attaches on and off to the bottom of the fuselage. There are at least two designs for trailers for the cargo pod, each pod is powered by batteries. For on-site deliveries, the cargo pod be be off-loaded to a small custom trailer and that trailer can be manually pushed or can be driven autonomously. For off-site deliveries, that trailer has a driver's seat, windshield and roof (with open sides) and has an bicycle-type pedals to assist the electric motors when transporting the cargo pod.
The company foresees the aircraft to be used for civilian cargo delivery, security use and military use.
Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL air cargo aircraft
Capacity: Cargo and emergency medical transportation
Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies of critical components in the sub-systems of the aircraft.
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