Watch an Enormous Autonomous Cargo Drone Complete Its First Flight

The APT 70 can carry weights of up to 70 pounds at speeds of 100 mph.
Chris Young

A new, huge cargo drone, the APT 70, had the video of its first flight recorded and uploaded by pioneering aerospace manufacturer Bell.

Built for delivery and disaster relief, the APT 70 can travel up to 18 miles on a single charge. The video shows off the impressive capabilities of cargo drones and how they could be used as an efficient future delivery system.


Delivery capabilities

The Autonomous Pod Transport 70 - or APT 70 for short - is 180 centimeters tall. The Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) aircraft comes with a range of 18 miles on a single charge. It can carry cargo weighing up to 70 pounds at a top speed of 100 mph.

Watch an Enormous Autonomous Cargo Drone Complete Its First Flight
Source: (Screenshot) Bell Flight/YouTube

Bell says the APT 70 can be used for several different delivery tasks:

"The APT is designed to be capable of various mission sets, from package delivery to critical medical transport to disaster relief," Bell executive Scott Drennan said in a press release.

"We believe this capability will change the way unmanned aerial systems are used commercially in the future."

The test flight (video above) took place this month at Bell’s base in Fort Worth, Texas.

Designed for rapid deployment

In the video, the APT 70 is shown using its four rotors to rise into the sky before switching to a propulsion system to go at a higher speed. When traveling with the propulsion system, the drone tilts at a 90-degree angle and uses its four legs as wings to gain more stability.

As DigitalTrends reports, the cargo drone travels at nearly twice the speed of other similar multi-rotor flying machines.

As per Bell's press release, the APT 70 has been "designed for rapid deployment, quick reconfiguration, and nimble battery swap and recharge."

Bell, of course, has a history in creating pioneering technologies. The company was the first to break the sound barrier with the Bell X-1. It also provided technology for the Apollo lunar landing research vehicle.

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