LONDON – U.S. cargo operator Ameriflight has just announced a purchase agreement for 20 cargo aircraft with the autonomous aircraft manufacturer Natilus.
The order now leaves the total commitments and orders at Natilus at a worth of $6.8 billion in more than 460 aircraft.
The agreement details
Cargo operator Ameriflight and the autonomous aircraft manufacturer Natilus, have recently announced the purchase agreement by Ameriflight for 20 autonomous cargo aircraft.
Valuing the order at $134 million USD, it is a strategic move to be the first regional U.S. carrier to develop a roadmap for the future of air freight operations.
Ameriflight President & Chief Operating Officer, Alan Rusinowitz, said the following on the purchase agreement: “Through this strategic partnership, we are positioning Ameriflight to build the roadmap for the future in cargo operations and be the first regional operator for Natilus in the United States.”
“Our goal is to grow our product and transform the way we do business through innovation and collaboration, and now through this new partnership with Natilus, Ameriflight will connect the world safely within a sustainable business model,” he concluded.
Speaking for Natilus, Co-Founder and CEO, Aleksey Matyushev, commented: “Innovation in design allows the Natilus fleet to carry more volume at lower costs, and the exploration of new sustainable fuels will lower carbon emissions”
He added: “The Ameriflight agreement is a major move forward for the air cargo industry to strengthen the regional supply chain.”
The aircraft in question
The aircraft in question by the manufacturer Natilus, is a carbon fiber, blended-wing-body designed cargo aircraft which offers a mere 60% reduction in operating costs as well as it cuts carbon emissions by half.
The Natilus company are currently creating this aircraft as an autonomus aircraft for sustainable and efficient freight transport, being the world’s first of its kind.
The creation of this aircraft will enable the opening of new and coming markets in remote areas to where larger aircraft may not have the runway capacity or infrastructure to operate, providing needed necessities to these areas.
With the initial concept came four different aircraft, each carrying specific limitations for different types of use, where the Maximum Take-Off Weight ranges from 19,000lbs to 955,335lbs, still all remotely piloted.
About the development, Aleksey Matyushev commented: “Developing autonomous solutions that are purpose-built to address the needs of the air cargo market is one important step toward developing more robust long-term solutions,”
“Autonomous technologies seek to utilize labour more efficiently by allowing a single pilot to control multiple aircraft, helping address the dire pilot shortage.”
Ameriflight and Natilus’s announcement goes into the books as a big one, for both companies.
Being the first regional U.S. carrier with plans to utilize these aircraft under a developed roadmap for future air freight operations, Ameriflight embarks on an historic journey and a massive upgrade if and when the aircraft and project ever gets certified for commercial operations.
Natilus also sees a great increase in interest and orders for the project, which the total order sum and the aircraft number clearly shows.