MightyFly awarded USAF innovation development contract

A MightyFly autonomous aircraft in flight.
Photo Credit: MightyFly

MightyFly has been awarded a U.S. Air Force contract to develop the autonomous loading and unloading system that will enable its autonomous cargo aircraft to perform unmanned deliveries.

The company, an innovative leader in autonomous hybrid eVTOL cargo aircraft, has recently been awarded a lucrative Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract worth $1.25 million by AFWERX.

AFWERX is a United States Air Force program with the goal of fostering a culture of innovation within the service.

This contract is exclusively dedicated to MightyFly’s groundbreaking Autonomous Load Mastering System (ALMS), designed to enable their eVTOL cargo aircraft to autonomously load, unload, and deliver cargo, thereby addressing the most pressing challenges in expedited logistics.

The MightyFly Centro eVTOL prototype.
Photo Credit: MightyFly


Revolutionizing Expedited Logistics

MightyFly’s Autonomous Load Mastering System promises to bring automation, efficiency, and substantial cost savings to businesses and governmental organizations alike.

At the core of this innovation is the MF100 third-generation aircraft, designed to deliver point-to-point, same-day, and expedited delivery services that outpace incumbent express logistics services in terms of speed, efficiency, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.

This advanced technology holds the potential to benefit a wide array of industries, including logistics, supply chain, manufacturing, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail, automotive, and oil and gas.

Moreover, it caters to the needs of national and state parks, humanitarian and disaster relief organizations, as well as both defense and non-defense governmental agencies.

“The MightyFly team is on a mission to revolutionize expedited logistics through large, autonomous, hybrid eVTOL cargo aircraft. Our selection for this SBIR Phase II contract by AFWERX underscores their confidence in our mission and technical expertise,” declared Manal Habib, CEO of MightyFly.

“We are honored to partner with the U.S. Air Force and leverage our know-how to develop a system that directly addresses the agile and expedited logistics needs of our time.”

Streamlining the SBIR Process

To expedite the implementation of this groundbreaking technology, the Air Force Research Laboratory and AFWERX have joined forces to streamline the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) process.

Their collaboration aims to accelerate the small business experience, reduce proposal-to-award timelines, expand opportunities for small businesses, and eliminate bureaucratic hurdles by continually implementing process improvements in contract execution.

The Open Topic SBIR/STTR program, initiated by the Department of the Air Force in 2018, has widened the spectrum of innovations the DAF funds.

A Noteworthy Investment

In September 2023, MightyFly achieved another milestone by securing an investment from Tim Draper, via Draper Associates.

Tim Draper is a renowned leader in early-stage venture capital for tech companies, known for his vision of encouraging entrepreneurs to drive their businesses to greatness and to transform industries with new technologies.

With this new injection of funds, MightyFly is set to advance the development of its autonomous cargo aircraft, bringing essential capabilities to the expedited delivery market and intensifying its efforts in reaching a broader audience.

“We backed MightyFly because of their incredible team. If you absolutely need something delivered right now, MightyFly can deliver it.”

“I suspect MightyFly will save many lives, deliver important contracts, fix many vehicles and machines, and solve many problems we haven’t even thought of yet. For short hauls and medium loads, this company has your solution,” commended Tim Draper, Founding Partner of Draper Associates.

What Lies Ahead

MightyFly is scheduled to complete the manufacturing of its third-generation MF100 aircraft later this year.
It is then scheduled to publicly debut its autonomous cargo aircraft performing delivery flight demonstrations with 100 pounds of payload in Michigan in 2024, and is working with partners in the planning of Proof of Concept (POC) programs in late 2024 and throughout 2025.

The views expressed herein are those of the company MightyFly and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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