Bay-area startup, MightyFly, has announced a next generation of its eVTOL prototype. The prototype dubbed, Cento, builds upon the firms previous model and is capable of carrying a 100 pound payload up to a range of 600 miles at speeds of 150 mph. Cento uses a hybrid powertrain and is able to achieve its 600-mile range without any charging.
This announcement comes less than two years after receiving $5.1M USD in seed funding and 9 months after first flight of its original eVTOL prototype. Cento features eight electrical vertical lift fans and one forward propulsion propeller. The cargo bay is 6 feet long and can carry 96 small USPS packages.
MightyFly intends to operate and maintain a fleet of Cento eVTOL cargo drones and will manage the end-to-end process of express shipping services.
“The traditional hub-and-spoke distribution model can still serve businesses that have centralized warehousing and shipping systems in place and that have experienced few logistics issues,” said Manal Habib, MightyFly CEO and co-founder. “But if there is one lesson we’ve learned from supply chain bottlenecks and logistics over the past few years, it’s that we need flexibility – to be able to adapt to various cargo volumes and expedited timing or urgencies. Medical companies, just-in-time manufacturing, and the 51% of all retailers that now provide same-day delivery need a faster and more affordable way to get their goods and perishables to the final destination.”
MightlyFly has also secured a Special Airworthiness Certificate for Cento in order to conduct long-range test flights. This will enable the company to continue development and testing of Cento ahead of certification and commercialization.
While Cento was just announced and the team began flight testing of the prototype last month, MightyFly states they are already working on a larger variant capable of carrying a 500 pound payload.
Why it matters: MightyFly has only been in the eVTOL space since 2019 but has made significant progress in its short history with relatively little funding. The development of the Cento prototype and potentially larger variants could make the company one of the first commercialized drone delivery providers if they can complete their flight test campaign and certification.