Us startup launches wing-body fusion unmanned cargo plane with half freight savings


Natilus, an aerospace startup based in California, is about to make up for the shortcomings of the world’s most cost-effective, multi-day, fast and expensive air freight market with its new unmanned cargo plane.Natilus uses a special wing-body fusion design. The concept is to integrate the fuselage with the wings to create more wing area to improve lift and expand the cabin interior.The first wing-body fusion was the Junkers G.38 commercial airliner from Germany in 1928, and there is only one aircraft currently in service with this design, the U.S. Air Force’s B-2 Ghost Stealth bomber.Natilus plans to launch four models of different sizes, namely N3.8T, N60T, N100T and N130T, with cargo weight ranging from 4.3 tons to 143 tons, range from 1,666km to 10,000km, and cruising speed of Mach 0.85, similar to that of ordinary freighters.The company points out that the wing-body fusion design and uav configuration can reduce crew personnel costs, thus reducing fuel consumption and costs by nearly 50 percent compared to traditional airlift.Taking the same volume of goods from the West to East Asia, for example, it normally takes 12 hours by air and costs about $216,000. Unmanned freighters take the same flight time and cost only $130,000. Sea freight costs $40,000 and takes 21 days.Aleksey Matyushev, Chief executive of Natilus, said last year that the company had signed a contract with Siemens, the German electronics giant, to use Siemens’ engineering software to continue work on drones, as well as with Volatus Aerospace, a drone networking service.The first batch of N3.8T is expected to be delivered to Volatus in 2025 to begin testing and to begin uav air transport services as soon as possible.Since the global logistics chaos caused by the epidemic, airlines have all lost a lot of money for the prevention and containment policies of various countries. Air transportation is one of the few businesses that can maintain normal business, and the cheap cost and near-zero chance of human casualties of uav are expected to become the future of the air transportation industry.(First image by Natilus)

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