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Cargo UAV makes progress towards 2023 flight target
Thursday, 17 March 2022
The Natilus 3.8T has undergone initial wind tunnel testing, and the vertical tail has entered production. Collins have climbed aboard to develop the cargo UAV's payload handling systems.

Natilus, Inc. has contracted with Collins Aerospace to build specialised cargo loading systems for its family of UAV cargo aircraft under development, which have attracted more than $6 billion in pre-orders.

The company reports that the design of the Natilus 3.8T is complete and it has undergone initial wind tunnel testing. Natilus has also initiated production of the vertical tails.

"Collins Aerospace is a global leader in the design, manufacture and certification of advanced cargo handling systems for commercial aircraft," says Alison Davidson, vice president and general manager, Cargo/Hoist and Winch for Collins Aerospace. "For the Natilus family of aircraft, we're adapting proven cargo handling designs with millions of flight hours in service to create a new system that efficiently uses the additional space of the Natilus blended wing design to maximise cargo capacity."

The Natilus contract with Collins is instrumental in creating efficiencies of operation, including increasing aircraft cargo volume. Collins is designing a specialised Cargo Loading System for the Natilus 3.8T prototype with rolling ball mats, attachments, and standard flip-up latches and will accommodate LD3-New and LD3-45 containers and bulk loads.

Natilus is offering a family of autonomous cargo aircraft with greater efficiency and cost-savings by innovating the design of freight transport aircraft to increase cargo volume by 60%. This will lower the cost of freight operations by 60% and cut carbon emissions in half.

"Currently, 90% of all goods are transported worldwide via shipping, but 90% of all 'value goods' are shipped through air freight – just because of current capacity and cost," explains Aleksey Matyushev, CEO and co-founder of Natilus. "Our goal is to dramatically change this equation through efficiencies of design and operations to make air freight more competitive to capture market share. Our new contract with Collins brings us another step closer to entering the cargo aircraft manufacturing market."

Flights are scheduled to begin in 2023.

Contact details from our directory:
Natilus Airframer
Collins Aerospace, Mechanical Systems Division Airborne Electrical Power Supplies, Aircraft & Helicopter Controllers, Aircraft Exterior Lighting Systems, Aircraft Interior Lighting Systems, Aircraft Landing Gear, Aircraft Security Equipment, Aircraft Structural Components, Aircraft Wheels, Avionics Management Systems, Cabin Heaters, Cargo Systems, Coatings, Crew Seating, Electrical Actuators, Electrical Brakes, Emergency Generators, Engine Controls, Engine Health Monitoring, Engine Pylons, Fire Fighting/Detection Systems, Fuel Control Systems, Fuel Quantity Indicators, Fuel Tanks & Systems, Ice Detectors, Ice Protection/Prevention Equipment, Imaging Systems, Nacelles, Proximity Sensors, Sensors/Transducers, Telemetry Equipment, Thrust Reversers
Related aircraft programs:
Natilus N3.8T