One of Natilus’ aircraft models. Photo: Natilis
Volatus Aerospace has secured the first production delivery slot for the Natilus large remotely-piloted cargo drone.
California-based Natilus develops large autonomous cargo drone freighters designed to reduce “both the cost and environmental impact of airfreight”.
The twin-engine turboprop will have a maximum take-off weight of 8,618 kg, a maximum range of 1,667 km and is expected to carry a load of LD3 containers to a maximum weight of 3,855 kg.
The Natilus N3.8T offers an estimated 60% more cargo volume than traditional aircraft of the same weight while reducing costs and carbon dioxide per pound by 50%, said the Ontario-headquartered Volatus Aerospace.
The aircraft has completed its second wind tunnel test and is expected to begin deliveries in 2025.
Last November, Volatus Aerospace entered into an agreement with Avidrone Aerospace for worldwide distribution rights of its fully autonomous, cargo delivery drones with payload capabilities ranging from 2.3 kg to 23 kg and ranges up to 160 km.
“In November 2021, we announced the expansion of our existing drone services business into the drone cargo market with the introduction of the fully autonomous drones produced by Avidrone,” said Glen Lynch, chief executive of Volatus. “The recent amalgamation with Partner Jet Inc. gives us the commercial infrastructure to operate drone cargo services, and the addition of Natilus aircraft establishes the long-term direction for our aviation division.”