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UAS Successfully Transports 110-pound Payload

Bell Textron’s Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) successfully flew a payload of 110 pounds over an eight-mile route last week.  The company will now focus on demonstrating a series of commercial and military applications for the aircraft in 2021.  Bell Textron is also working on simplifying the APT’s user interfaces and improving its autonomous features.

“The APT flight test team continues to push the capabilities of our aircraft, and we are excited to hit this milestone,” said Bell UAS program manager John Wittmaak. “This is yet another example of how Bell continues to adapt to customer needs.”

The company’s vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) APT, which is powered by an electric-hybrid propulsion system, completed its first autonomous flight in August 2019.  The aircraft took its first beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) flight last July.  Bell Textron says that it has conducted more than 300 test flights as part of its APT flight test program.