Natilus Drone Claims It Can Cut Air Freight Costs by 50 Percent, Features a Large Payload

Natilus autonomous cargo drone for Volatus Aerospace 6 photos
Photo: Volatus Aerospace
Natilus autonomous cargo droneNatilus Wind Tunnel TestNatilus Wind Tunnel TestNatilus Wind Tunnel TestNatilus N3.8T cargo drone
There are two main issues with air freight: it has a drastic impact on the environment, and it is quite costly. Aiming to address these problems and to reinvent the 75-year-old status quo of freight transportation, California-based drone developer Natilus has designed the next-gen autonomous cargo drone.
Natilus is based in San Diego and it has four models of remotely piloted drones in mind, each for its own applications and with its own capabilities. The 130T has the biggest capacity, with a maximum takeoff payload of over 955,000 lb (433,000 kg). It is suitable for intercontinental flights, as it has a range of over 5,880 miles (9,467 km).

At the other end, we have the N3.8T aircraft, which is designed for more domestic flights across the United States. And the lucky company to receive the first production unit of it is drone operator Volatus Aerospace, which recently signed an agreement with Natilus for the N3.8T.

As far as the specs of the autonomous freight drone go, it will have a twin-engine turboprop, a blended wing body, and a maximum takeoff weight of approximately 19,000 lb (8,618 kg). The N3.8T will be able to carry a load of LD3 containers with a maximum weight of 8,500 lb (3,855 kg).

Natilus boasts that its drone’s design offers around 60 percent more cargo volume than conventional aircraft that feature the same weight. This translates into reduced costs, especially with the drone being remotely piloted. Moreover, it uses the existing ground infrastructure and standard air cargo containers.

As for the environmental impact, Natilus claims its solutions reduce carbon dioxide per pound by up to 50 percent. The cost of airfreight will also be reduced by up to 50 percent, which will bring fresher produce into stores and enable cross-border e-commerce to flourish, according to Aleksey Matyushev, Nautilus CEO.

Volatus Aerospace expects the N3.8T drone to enter operation in 2025.

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About the author: Cristina Mircea
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Cristina’s always found writing more comfortable to do than speaking, which is why she chose print over broadcast media in college. When she’s not typing, she also loves riding non-motorized two-wheelers, going on hikes with her dog, and rocking her electric guitars.
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