While it is known that air freight is faster and safer than transporting via water, it is never cheap and often comes at a hefty price. Ocean freight, on the other hand, is a more affordable option while offering more capacity at the same time. Consequently, it always boils down to calculation and cost comparison before choosing the right mode of shipment.
Natilus, a Californian startup, is reinventing the 75-year-old status quo of freight transportation through innovation and advanced technologies, to make air freight costs competitive to cargo shipping and dramatically improve delivery times.
The company has designed and developed a blended-wing, autonomous global air freight system touted to pack in 60% more cargo than an aircraft of the same size.
Tech and spec(s)
The model, dubbed as “The Natilus N3.8T”, has a range of 1,667 km (1,035 miles) and will be capable of carrying loads of up to 3,855 kg (8,500 lb) and have enough space for far more cargo inside than a traditional aircraft of the same weight.
The use of standardized containers (LD3) is one of the UAV’s features, along with a blended wing-body design and remote piloting.
It will be the first model to roll off the rank for Natilus and will have an MTOW of 8,618 kg (19,000 lb).
- Maximum Efficiency : With an enhanced aerodynamic profile, the design would operate with 50% less CO2.
- 60% more cargo : With a design centred around cargo, the patent-pending ‘Diamond’ cargo-bay offers an efficient blended wing body configuration that allows for 60% more volume. Additionally, the aircraft can hold a large configuration of standard pallets, outsized cargo, and without a contouring requirement-all with a remote pilot watching over.
- ‘Fly-by-Mouse’ Autopilot : Natilus FAA certifiable autopilot allows air freight operators to scale with Natilus products, thereby also addressing pilot shortages in the aviation industry.
From a freight perspective, it makes a lot sense. It has 50 percent more volume internally, so it doubles the amount of revenue cargo per flight. With conventional designs you start to run out volume before you maximize the takeoff weight of the airplane.Aleksey Matyushev, CEO and Co-Founder, Natilus
Natilus is using Siemens NX™products to support product development from concept through manufacturing and certification. Using NX™ products allows Natilus engineers to reduce its development times for the groundbreaking Blended Wing Body (BWB) prototype by half.
Volatus Aerospace, whose activities range from UAV sales, pilot training, specialized public safety services, drone delivery, and other enterprise operations, has secured delivery of next-generation Natilus long-distance cargo drones, with the first production run of the craft expected in 2025.
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