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Bell APT 70 completes first BVLOS flight


The Bell Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) 70  multicopter drone has completed its first beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flight, traveling along a 10-mile path at Choctaw Nation test site under the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program (UASIPP).


Bell APT 70 completes first BVLOS flight Bell Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) 70  multicopter drone (Picture source: Bell)


The vehicle also completed an 18 mile flight with 60lbs of payload at Bell’s testing site near Fort Worth, Texas.

To date, the APT 70 flight test program has completed over 120 flights. The program will continue to test the vehicles’ endurance, range capabilities, and expand the mission sets.

“Our partnership with Choctaw under the UASIPP has allowed us to push the boundaries on our eVTOL technology,” said John Wittmaak, program manager, UAS. “By unlocking new performance capabilities, APT 70 will provide unparalleled mission sets for our customers.”

APT 70 is part of the eVTOL family of vehicles Bell is developing and can reach speeds of more than 100mph and has a baseline payload capability of 70 lbs. Bell’s APT systems allow for flexible mission capabilities while keeping operations simple, efficient and fast; they are capable of twice the speed and range of a conventional multirotor. The vehicle is designed for rapid deployment, quick reconfiguration, and nimble battery swap and recharge.


Bell APT 70 completes first BVLOS flight2 APT 70 in flight (Picture source: Bell)