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Natilus Kona Demonstrator Coming Along Nicely

Autonomous Cargo Plane Completes Scaled Flight Tests

Natilus (not Nautilus, as many mistake) has seen success with its blended-wing Kona aircraft design, paving the way to full-scale tests.

The company completed a bevy of tests for its autonomous cargo plane, taking their design from the wind tunnel into the real world with a Southern California flight to 70 mph. The subscale prototype showed that the Natilus configuration can fly just fine without the aid of a "complex autopilot system". While undergoing testing, Natilus began working on the full-scale prototypes, constructing the dual vertical tail surfaces as they gallop along to their first flight. In May, they plan on obtaining the Hartzell props for installation on the engine test stand.

“We are fully focused on completing the full-scale Kona prototype” stated Aleksey Matyushev, Natilus Co-Founder and CEO. “Our Kona remotely piloted aircraft will be capable of carrying over 9,000 pounds of freight and will open new markets worldwide. The progress of Natilus developing autonomous cargo aircraft is a game-changer in the logistics industry, providing an efficient and cost-effective solution for shipping goods across oceans.”

The Kona is slated to be the smallest of the Natilus family, boasting its 3.8-ton payload for short-haul feeder and domestic cargo routes. It will be dwarfed by the Alisio, a medium-to-long range UAV with a 60 ton payload. At the top of the heap will be the Nordes, with a 100-ton payload for the long-range, international cargo carrier market. The designs will all leverage existing ground infrastructure and standard air cargo container sizing for easy introduction into service. Nautilus has received nearly $7 billion in commitments already, accounting for the delivery of 460 aircraft. 



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