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Reliable Robotics Sends Uncrewed Caravan on Test Flight

The Future is Here for Small Town Cargo Operations

Reliable Robotics completed a test flight using an uncrewed Cessna 208B Caravan, operated entirely by a pilot on the ground 50 miles away.

The company wants to corner the market on remotely piloted aircraft before the rest of the industry sees their worth. If successful, the firm believes its tech will further democratize the already legendary Cessna Caravan, serving as an "essential role connecting communities and businesses across the United States and around the globe." All the usual highlights of the C208 apply to an uncrewed one, like its rough-and-tumble hardiness, 3,000 lb useful load, and respectable STOL performance. With pilots operating them from afar, however, aircraft would no longer be hampered by pilot availability, position, or scheduling. The fleet could be far more miscible throughout a region, allowing flexible operation unheard of in a world requiring a pair of aviators on every flight deck.

“Textron Aviation is committed to delivering continuous aviation improvements and our relationship with Reliable Robotics advances this work,” said Chris Hearne, Senior Vice President of Engineering and Programs, Textron Aviation. “Reliable’s successful flight of an uncrewed Cessna 208 Caravan represents a milestone for the industry in bringing new technology to aviation.”

Reliable Robotics partners like AFWERX and ASL Aviation Holdings were happy to see a successful milestone. “ASL is always innovating to better serve customers, and our partnership with Reliable Robotics is aimed at enabling us to provide reliable, flexible and cost-efficient time-sensitive cargo delivery to smaller unserved areas,” said Dave Andrew, Chief Executive of ASL Aviation Holdings. “This historic flight is a testament to Reliable’s focused leadership in advancing aviation innovation and capability for the industry.”

“This monumental aviation achievement is a great example of how AFWERX accelerates agile and affordable capability transitions for the world's greatest Air Force," said Col. Elliott Leigh, AFWERX Director and Chief Commercialization Officer for the Department of the Air Force. “This milestone accelerates dual-use uncrewed flight opportunities, increasing aviation safety and enabling us to bring a broad range of autonomous military capabilities into denied environments.”



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