The first successful autonomous flight of Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) 70 -a transport drone- announced by Bell.
The flight took place at the test site near Fort Worth, and the company plans to continue testing the vessel under a special certification for experimental aircraft for the rest of the year.
”We are delighted to have reached this milestone, and we look forward to continuing to evolve this technology for our customers”,
said Scott Drennan, the company’s Vice President of Innovation.
“APT is designed to handle various missions, from package deliveries to emergency shipments of medical material to disaster-stricken areas. We believe these capabilities will change the way unmanned aircraft will be used for commercial purposes in the future. “
“APT 70” belongs to the “family” of eVTOL aircraft developed by Bell and can handle speeds of over 160 km, with a basic carrying capacity of approximately 31 kg. According to the company, Bell’s APT systems allow for a wide range of missions, while the operation remains simple, efficient and fast. As Bell points out, these aircrafts have twice the speed and range than conventional multirotor aircrafts. Also, the design is such that allows rapid use, quick reset and immediate battery change and charging.
Bell will use the “APT 70” to demonstrate an alleged commercial mission beyond the field of vision by mid-2020. The company is also working with Japanese Yamato to integrate its (Yamato’s) package management system into the aircraft.