Аutonomous cargo drone is capable of carrying 45kg for almost 1,000km.
MightyFly's new Cento drone is capable of carrying up to 96 small packages in its internal cargo hold and needs two parking spaces for takeoff, landing and automatic unloading. The company is working with the FAA to expand the long-haul permit.
The Cento uses a large 161kg carbon airframe when fully loaded with a 45kg payload. It is a simple lift-cruise design, using eight pod-mounted lift screws that look a little like a landing skid, and one rear propeller for cruise flight. The Cento travels at a top speed of 240 km/h, making it more efficient than road haulage.
It is stated that the hybrid power plant provides a flight range of 965 km. The propulsion system is electric, but an internal combustion engine is used to keep the battery charged during flight.
MightyFly says the Cento measures 4m x 5m, so once it goes commercial, anyone who can set aside a couple of parking spaces or another flat area of that size will be able to receive and send packages. In addition, the user does not need to open the cargo compartment himself, the drone is equipped with an autonomous conveyor belt for issuing / loading parcels.
Flight tests of Cento have been conducted since December. The FAA issued a special airworthiness certificate to the company, allowing it to conduct flight tests, but not giving it the right to commercial cargo transportation at this stage. The agency has also issued a certificate that grants MightyFly 596 square meters of airspace. km and an altitude ceiling of 1,500 m for testing the drone. The company hopes to soon be able to demonstrate a 965km delivery with a 45kg payload, which it says is an "unprecedented feat".
MightyFly has not announced a possible start date for commercial deliveries with Cento, saying only that it is "looking for business partnerships to test delivery operations" in the "post-2023" period. The company also claims to be working on another craft capable of carrying a 227kg payload.
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