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Big APT for Logistics
  • 28 Oct 2020 10:51 PM
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Big APT for Logistics

At the Association of the United States Army’s (AUSA) virtual trade show in mid-October, Bell revealed that it is working on a larger variant of its Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) with a 100-lb (45-kg) payload. This builds on the current APT 70 that has been flying with its namesake 70-lb (32-kg) payloads and an earlier APT 20 with a 20-lb (9-kg) payload capability. Bell told Janes that the as-yet-unnamed jumbo APT “will keep the same relative size, form, fit, and function of the APT 70 at 1.8 m [5.9 ft] tall with a 2.75 m [9 ft] wingspan.” Bell also released an image (shown) of its APT 70 in a military logistics role. Bell considered a version with 400–500 lb (181–227 kg) payloads, but decided to ensure that “nothing in the design, operation, or the payload [require more] than a two-person lift.”

Bell announced on Sept. 30 that the APT 70 had completed a landmark beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) demonstration as part of its NASA’s Systems Integration and Operationalization (SIO) effort, flying the drone autonomously through the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area in a simulation of a critical medical transport mission. (Sources: Bell, Janes)

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