Boeing Cargo Air Vehicle (CAV)

Quick Summary

The Boeing Cargo Air Vehicle (CAV) is an electrically powered aircraft that can carry up to 500 lbs of cargo (or persons) that was designed and developed in under 3 months by a team of Boeing Engineers.

The Boeing Company, based in Chicago, IL, USA

Stage of Development

Preliminary Design

Prototype Build

Flight Testing


Commercially Operating
Technical Details

From the Boeing website:

Boeing is accelerating breakthrough advancements in autonomous air travel.

It recently completed initial flight tests of an electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) unmanned cargo aerial vehicle (CAV) prototype. The innovative platform is designed to test and evolve Boeing’s autonomy technology for future aerospace vehicles.

In less than three months, Boeing engineers designed and built the CAV prototype, which stands four feet off the ground, measures 15 by 18 feet and weighs more than 700 pounds. It is outfitted with eight counter-rotating propeller blades and custom Boeing batteries that allow for vertical flight.

Researchers are transforming the remote control-operated CAV prototype into an autonomous aircraft capable of carrying up to 500 pounds. The technology opens up new possibilities for delivering time-sensitive and high-value goods, conducting autonomous missions in remote or dangerous environments, and other applications.

Our Take on the CAV

Boeing's CAV project is unique in that it completed an entire product conception, design, production, and flight test cycle in around three months, which is extremely quick for the aerospace industry. Furthermore, although the CAV is designed to handle cargo, the 500 lb payload could very easily be converted into a light, yet strong passenger enclosure that could carry two average sized humans, all while the CAV is autonomously piloted. This project is also unique because it is Boeing native; although Boeing acquired Aurora Flight Sciences in November of 2017, Boeing itself is continuing its own research into the eVTOL field.