An artist's impression of the Nuuva V300 being loaded up.
Pipistrel has announced the Nuuva V300 as the flagship model of its Nuuva series of unmanned air vehicles. It is designed to disrupt aerial cargo transportation by commercialising the use of electrical vertical take-off and landing vehicles. The highly customizable autonomous aircraft will carry up to 460kg and offer the efficiency and reliability of electric powertrains. Entry into service is planned for the second half of 2023.
The Nuuva family combines the best of both aeroplane and helicopter air cargo transportation principles. The unmanned eVTOL capability enables it to go where no aeroplane is able to, while its hybrid configuration allows it to operate at a fraction of the cost of a helicopter on an equivalent mission. Pipistrel says that the Nuuva V300, with its simplicity, efficiency, and autonomy, is targeting a ten-fold improvement in economics to the operator.
The cargo compartment accepts up to three Euro-pallets that can be easily loaded with a regular forklift. The Nuuva V300 then flies a preloaded flight plan fully autonomously, controlled by a highly reliable digital flight control system. Continuous communication allows the ground operator, who manages the vehicle with simple mouse-clicks, to have ultimate control in case of changes or cancellation of the flight.
The Nuuva V300 takes-off and lands using eight independent battery-powered Pipistrel E-811 electric engines, already Type Certified. The whole system is safeguarded by the integrated health self‑monitoring system that alerts of any potential malfunction even before it occurs, increasing the reliability and safety. Nuuva V300's batteries can be charged by simply plugging-in to a SkyCharge by Pipistrel and Green Motion charging station.
A dependable and proven internal combustion engine in the aft fuselage powers the aircraft in cruise flight, offering unbeatable fuel economy and low maintenance costs. A unique tandem-wing configuration with fly-by-wire control surfaces boosts the aerodynamic efficiency and reduces the landing footprint of the vehicle, while assuring a wide centre-of-gravity margin.
The Nuuva V300 can be customized for a wide range of missions. For operators that prioritize longer range, the vehicle's payload capacity and anti-ice capabilities can be traded-off for more usable fuel, being able to transport 50kg payload for as far as 2,500 km without compromising the ability to take-off and land vertically from altitudes as high as 8,000 ft. At lower take-off altitudes and with shorter mission requirements, the payload can be increased to up to 460 kg, beating the coveted 1,000 lb threshold.
The smaller sibling of the Nuuva family, the V20, shares the same architecture and advantages of the larger V300 but is designed as a lightweight cargo courier carrying payloads of up to 20 kg. First customers will be able to take deliveries as early as 2021.
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