MightyFly was founded by CEO Manal Habib in 2019 and is based in San Francisco, California, USA. Habib previously developed the first robust commercial flight controller for small drones, when she realized a need for a larger autonomous aircraft with a greater cargo capacity. Habib is a private pilot and aerospace engineering graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University. The goal of the company is to enable point-to-point, same-day, expedited deliveries that are fast, affordable and carbon neutral. MightyFly’s team of experts in the aerospace industry are uniquely qualified to disrupt the logistics industry via large autonomous cargo aircraft. (Images: MightyFly)
On April 20, 2021, MightyFly announced the development of their MF100 autonomous hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) air cargo prototype aircraft and that it had closed a $5.1 million USD seed funding round. Habib is the first female CEO of a hybrid-electric VTOL company that has raised funds of this level to date. The seedling funds will support the company's plans to scale its workforce and the production of its hybrid-electric VTOL cargo aircraft for advanced air mobility (AAM).
Cento autonomous hybrid-electric VTOL cargo experimental drone
The Cento is an autonomous hybrid-electric VTOL cargo experimental aircraft that has a payload capacity of 100 lb (45 kg), has an estimated cruise speed of 150 mph (240 km/h) and a range of 600 miles (965 km). The company named this second generation aircraft the Cento which means one hundred in Italian, referring to its maximum payload weight of 100 lb ( (45 kg).
The nose of the aircraft opens vertically, allowing cargo to be loaded and unloaded at the front of the aircraft. The aircraft can carry up to 212 small UPS packages inside its cargo bay. The aircraft only needs the space of two parking spaces to land, making it easy to land in an unprepared parking lot, a vertiport or an airport.
The aircraft has eight dedicated VTOL propellers located on two booms parallel to the fuselage and has one pusher propeller. The main fuselage is long and tubular in shape, has one main high wing, a V tail and has four small and short stub landing legs. The range of the aircraft would allow cargo to be delivered from San Francisco to Los Angeles, for example, as well as deliveries from urban to rural areas. Videos from the company show a rectangular fenced area where the aircraft could dock or on a specially made elevated loading dock landing pad.
Aircraft missions and test flights
The company points out that businesses such as logisticians, manufacturers, medical facilities, sellers to consumers and more, need affordable and quick same-day air cargo services. The aircraft has been making successful test flights since December 2022. On May 30, 2023, the company was awarded a $150,000 grant from the Michigan Mobility Funding Platform to perform autonomous cargo delivery flight demonstrations in Michigan state (USA).
The company aims to achieve FAA Part 135 Air Carrier and Operator Certification and airworthiness certifications in other markets such as Australia and Asia, providing logistics or cargo directly to the point of need, such as businesses in remote areas. The company foresees proof-of-concept delivery services starting in 2024 and, after that, serial production of their aircraft.
Propellers: 8 VTOL propellers (on two booms parallel to the fuselage), 1 pusher propeller
Electric Motors: 9 electric motors
Power source: Hybrid-electric power source
Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
Wings: 1 high wing
Tail: 1 V tail
Landing gear: 4 small short fixed stub landing legs
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.
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