SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- The world's largest aerospace manufacturer Boeing unveiled Wednesday a prototype of a new unmanned electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) cargo drone.
Boeing said in a statement that the cargo air vehicle (CAV) is capable of delivering a payload up to 500 pounds (about 450 kg) for possible future cargo and logistics.
The CAV, which is powered by an environmentally-friendly electric propulsion system, will be used to test and evolve Boeing's automation technology for future aerospace vehicles.
"This flying cargo air vehicle represents another major step in our Boeing eVTOL strategy," said Boeing Chief Technology Officer Greg Hyslop.
"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," he said.
It took less than three months for a team of Boeing engineers and technicians to design and build the CAV prototype.
The CAV successfully completed initial flight tests at a Boeing lab in Missouri, said the world's top aerospace leader.
"Our new CAV prototype builds on Boeing's existing unmanned systems capabilities and presents new possibilities for autonomous cargo delivery, logistics and other transportation applications," said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing HorizonX, the unit that develops the CAV.
Outfitted with eight counter rotating blades allowing for vertical flight, the CAV prototype measures 4.57 m long, 5.49 m wide and 1.22 m tall, with a weight of 339 kg.
Established in 1916, the Chicago-based Boeing is the world's leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners and defense, space and security systems.
It also designs and produces fixed-wing aircraft, rotorcraft, rockets and satellites.
Boeing employs more than 170,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries.