Boeing Reveals Electric, Unmanned Cargo Plane

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Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) on Wednesday unveiled a new unmanned, electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) cargo plane that the company plans to use to test and develop Boeing’s autonomous aircraft technology for future vehicles. The cargo air vehicle (CAV) is designed to transport up to 500 pounds of “future cargo and logistics applications.”

The company conducted initial test flights of the CAV at its autonomous systems lab in Missouri. No photos of the CAV were made available.

Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop said:

This flying cargo air vehicle represents another major step in our Boeing eVTOL strategy. We have an opportunity to really change air travel and transport, and we’ll look back on this day as a major step in that journey.

The company plans to use the prototype as a flying test bed in the development of autonomous technology for future applications. Boeing’s HorizonX division along with the research and technology group, led the development of the CAV prototype, which complements the eVTOL passenger air vehicle prototype aircraft in development by Aurora Flight Sciences, a company acquired by Boeing late last year.

HorizonX executive Steve Nordlund noted:

The safe integration of unmanned aerial systems is vital to unlocking their full potential. Boeing has an unmatched track record, regulatory know-how and systematic approach to deliver solutions that will shape the future of autonomous flight.

The CAV prototype is powered by an electric propulsion system and outfitted with eight counter-rotating blades allowing for vertical flight. It measures 15 feet long, 18 feet wide and 4 feet tall, and it weighs 747 pounds.

Last month Boeing unveiled an unmanned refueling aircraft the company is building for the U.S. Navy.

Boeing stock traded up about 1.1% Wednesday afternoon to $321.87, after posting a third-consecutive 52-week high earlier in the day of $322.15. The 52-week low is $156.67, and the 12-month consensus price target is $308.39.