Trailblazing Partnership Aims to Demonstrate Safe Airspace Integration For Unmanned Logistics Aircraft
San Francisco, California, Elroy Air, the Aerospace + Logistics company developing the world’s first end-to-end automated vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo systems, is teaming with NASA to accelerate and improve the safe integration of advanced autonomous cargo aircraft into the United States airspace.
The partnership is part of NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign to develop key guidance for UAM (Urban Air Mobility) operations, while addressing key challenges such as certification and standards development, in an effort to accelerate U.S. leadership in emerging automated aviation technology. The partnership will initially address critical National Campaign safety scenarios with a focus on autonomous flight and contingency management, including collision avoidance, flight path management and two-way network flight plan communications.
Through the partnership, NASA and Elroy Air intend to demonstrate key integrated operational AAM scenarios with flights of Elroy Air’s Chaparral aircraft. NASA and Elroy Air intend to collaborate on flight safety reviews and technical validation approaches, and to integrate Elroy Air’s communications systems into a NASA airspace communications framework for UAM platforms that builds upon lessons learned from the NASA UTM (Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Traffic Management) project. With support from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), NASA and Elroy Air will test and demonstrate AAM scenarios in support of middle-mile aerial logistics. NASA will provide Elroy Air with simulation scenarios and software interface details to validate connection and data formats.
“This partnership enables Elroy Air to bring its expertise in developing VTOL aerial logistics platforms together with the groups at NASA driving UAM and RAM (Rural Air Mobility) to be realized in the NAS (National Airspace),” said Clint Cope, Co-Founder of Elroy Air. “The demonstrations we are planning and the frameworks we’ll develop and validate together will showcase that logistics will be a smart and large early use case for this new and exciting chapter in VTOL aerospace.”
Starr Ginn, Lead for NASA’s Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) National Campaign (NC) series, said “The Elroy Air team impressed us with their innovative approach to automated cargo systems and technical depth in hybrid-electric VTOL vehicle development. Their track record designing, developing, and safely testing the Chaparral and its subsystems made them a great teaming partner. The work with Elroy Air will help accelerate the realization of exciting new Advanced Air Mobility logistics missions.”
Elroy Air is the leading company in the race to field an autonomous VTOL platform for aerial logistics, to enable same-day shipping to every person on the planet. For more information about Elroy Air’s team and development trajectory please visit elroyair.com.