San Francisco, California, USA
MightyFly, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, was founded by CEO Manal Habib and CTO Scott Parker. The two met while working at rail-launched UAS delivery company Zipline (Habib led flight controls and Parker was a senior mechanical engineer), but they realized a need for a larger autonomous aircraft with a greater cargo capacity. Habib, a private pilot and aerospace engineering graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University. The goal of the company is to eliminate delivery trucks and vans from the ground, and move cargo by air.
On April 20, 2021, MightyFly announced the development of their MF-100 autonomous air cargo hybrid-electric VTOL and had closed a $5.1 million USD seed funding round. Habib is the first female CEO of a hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (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 eVTOL aircraft.
The MF-100 aircraft has a cargo capacity of 100 lb (45 kg), with an estimated cruise speed of 150 mph (240 km/h) and range of 600 miles (965 km). This would allow cargo to be delivered from San Francisco to Los Angeles, for example, as well as deliveries to rural areas. The nose of the aircraft opens to one side, allowing cargo to be loaded and unloaded at the front of the drone.
The MF-100 has received an FAA Special Airworthiness Certificate and as of May 2021 and has already begun hover test flights performed in California.
The company aims to achieve FAA Part 135 Air Carrier and Operator Certification, and airworthiness certifications in other market such as Australia and Asia, providing logistics or cargo directly to the point of need, such as businesses in remote areas. Previously, MightyFly had flown a small unmanned aircraft system (UAS) using the same flight controller; this demonstrator was flown under the 55 lb (25 kg) limit imposed by the FAA Part 107 regulations for small UAS. MightyFly is planning to build a larger hybrid-electric cargo drone with a 500 lb (225 kg) payload, with an estimated load of 150 packages.
- Aircraft type: hybrid-electric VTOL cargo drone
- Piloting: Autonomous
- Maximum payload: 100 lb (45 kg)
- Cruise speed: 150 mph (240 km/h)
- Range: 600 miles (965 km)
- Propellers: 8 VTOL propellers, 1 pusher propeller
- Electric Motors: 9 electric motors
- Power source: Hybrid-electric power source
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Wings: 1 high wing
- Tail: V tail
- Landing gear: Fixed skid landing gear, with four small wheels to make it easy to push on a tarmac or hangar
- 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.
- MightyFly website
- MightyFly Facebook
- MightyFly Twitter
- MightyFly YouTube Channel
- Video: MightyFly Autonomous Flight, MightyFly, Apr. 13, 2021
- Article: Autonomous Air Cargo Startup Set to Revolutionize Logistics, MightyFly, Apr. 20, 2021
- Article: MightFly cleared to start autonomous cargo drone services, Future Flight, Apr. 20, 2021
- Article: MightyFly raises $5.1 million for its hybrid-electric cargo drone, eVTOL Magazine, Apr. 21, 2021
- Article: MightyFly’s Next-Generation Drones Have Sky-High Potential, 500, Apr. 27, 2021
- Article: MightyFly Reveals MF-100, Electric VTOL News, May 2, 2021