Is it possible to transport cargo by air without a pilot?
The Californian startup Natilus gives us a rather interesting answer. The newly designed aircraft appears to be able to handle transport in a sustainable and cost-effective way.
We are talking about an aircraft with a mixed wing body, designed to offer performance above the general average. The idea is reminiscent of the X-48 from NASA, an autonomous and efficient aerial device.
Like the X-48, Natilus's aircraft also aims to change the fate of air transport. In particular, the general objective is to offer:
It will be called N3.8T, the Natilus project intended to transport as much material as possible.
It will have a maximum take-off weight of 8.618 kg, a range of 1.667 km, and will be able to withstand loads of up to 3.855 kg.
The latest tests carried out give us good hopes for the aircraft's release, expected around 2025.
Transport by halving the costs
Taking up the reference to the NASA project of the X-48, it is possible to identify a first significant similarity.
In fact, Natilus also used a mixed-wing airframe to offer better fuel efficiency, thus reducing the environmental impact.
Likewise, cargo space has increased, improving overall performance. Aleksey Matyushev, CEO of Natilus, she was very enthusiastic about the result.
"Reducing the cost of air freight by up to 50% will bring fresher products to our stores, enable e-commerce cross-border to flourish and will allow the development of low-infrastructure regions"
Taking advantage of the technology of the N3.8T, Narilus' freight drones will be able to go from carrying small packages to a large load. The prospects for success are so positive that they have allowed the creation of an agreement between Natilus and the Volatus Aerospace company.
The company, which operates in the drone construction sector, has committed to receive the first production N3.8T.
Currently, there are many companies that aim to improve the efficiency of air freight transport, trying to keep up with the demand.
An example is Boeing, the brand that has recently announced its own 777-8 Freighter , improved by 25% in fuel efficiency.
At the same time, a Californian company called H2 Clipper, is seeking funding to develop a zero emission airship, which could completely revolutionize the world of air transport.
Carrying ever more frequent and heavier loads is a priority for modern businesses. In the coming years, we can expect a further increase in offers.