Elroy Air’s first large VTOL cargo drone test a success [VIDEO] 

Today, Elroy Air announced the successful completion of its first full-scale system flight test of its large unmanned aerial cargo aircraft.

In the test, completed at 9:14AM PST on Aug. 14, 2019, the company’s lead test pilot remotely controlled the 1215-pound prototype to reach a height of 10 feet where it hovered for 64 seconds before descending and landing. Elroy Air tested the prototype in partnership with the Naval Postgraduate School at McMillan Airfield at Camp Roberts, California.  

“Today is an important step toward the future of logistics,” said Elroy Air CEO David Merrill. “Autonomous VTOL cargo systems will make the dream of ultra-responsible logistics possible, because they decouple air cargo from airports,” he continued. 

As part of a recent surge in companies developing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial mobility systems, Elroy Air, which specializes in the development of such aerial cargo systems said its model is unique in that its hybrid-electric powertrain system enables long-range deliveries as well as speedy, unattended loading and unloading of cargo. With these functions, the company’s services have been requested for e-commerce parcel, pharmaceutical, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions globally, the company said. 

Following this first successful flight, Elroy Air said it will focus on additional testing, including autonomy, transitions and forward flight. 

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Chelsea Toczauer

Chelsea Toczauer is the Associate Editor of the company’s daily news and monthly magazine Air Cargo World. She holds two BAs in International Relations and Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Southern California, as well as a double accredited US-Chinese MA in International Studies from the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University joint degree program. Chelsea speaks Mandarin and Russian.