Ann Harbor, Michigan, USA
Founded in 2018, Blueflite (formerly Flugauto) is a tech company developing an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) cargo delivery drone. The company uses the term Aerial Delivery Robot (ADS) for their eVTOL cargo drone.
The Slate is an uncrewed eVTOL cargo drone has four ducted fans (each ducted fan has two propellers), two bi-level main wings, cargo space and fixed-skid type landing gear. Blueflite has stated they have designed their cargo drone to be scalable. The company has made a subscale prototype and has successfully flown it with the support of Auburn University, Research in Flight and the US Airforce AFWERX technology accelerator department.
The goal of the company is to help companies streamline their material management, warehousing, unplanned maintenance, reduce costs, reduce carbon emissions, and reduce the risk of injuries and fatalities. The company points out their cargo drone has excellent maneuverability and the ability to operate under challenging conditions.
The company foresees their cargo drone for industrial use, disaster response and military logistics. Blueflite states their drone will be the most effective in delivery goods with short range deliveries. For example, a product is shipped from Japan to the US by ship or airplane, then the cargo is shipped by truck or railroad to a warehouse. Sorting happens and more shipping occurs. The last leg for the delivery journey would be from a warehouse to the customer's location. While trucks are usually used for the last leg of deliveries taking one to two days, using an eVTOL cargo drone would takes less than three hours and greatly speeding up the last leg of the journey.
As far as we know, no mention by the company has been made about the timeline when full scale prototypes or the manufacturing of production aircraft is estimated to occur.
- Aircraft type: Remote eVTOL cargo drone
- Piloting: Remote
- Capacity: Cargo only
- Cruise speed: Unknown
- Range: Unknown
- Propellers: 8 ducted propellers
- Electric Motors: 8 electric motors
- Power source: Batteries
- Maximum payload: Unknown
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Wings: To bi-level main wings
- Landing gear: Fixed skid type landing gear.
- Safety Features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers and motors on the aircraft so if one or more motors or propellers fail, the other working motors and propellers can safely land the aircraft.
- Blueflite www.blueflite.com
- Blueflite LinkedIn
- Article: AFWERX supported electric scalable aerial transport project launched, sUAS News, Feb. 24, 2021
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