Boeing's new unmanned electric air drone prototype has enough strength to transport cargo weighing up to 500 pounds.
Featuring an environmentally-friendly electric propulsion system and eight counter-rotating blades allowing for vertical flight, the 747-pound, 15-foot-long "multi-copter" drone is much bigger and more powerful than current prototypes of other delivery drones.
"This flying cargo air vehicle represents another major step in our Boeing eVTOL (electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing) 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."
The prototype was designed and developed in less than three months. It recently completed initial flight tests at Boeing's research laboratory in Missouri.
UPS' specially-engineered truck features a roof that slides open - revealing an autonomous octocopter drone.
Amazon, Google, and UPS have also developed prototype delivery drones. UPS' drone is launched from a truck. The company estimates that if each of its 66,000 U.S. delivery drivers could save just one mile per day, the company would save $50 million per year.
Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.