Next-gen aviation startup MightyFly has achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first company to develop a large, autonomous electric vehicle takeoff and landing (eVTOL) cargo drone approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for a flight corridor, as reported by Axios.

This achievement marks a pivotal moment not only for MightyFly but also for the drone delivery industry at large, signaling the potential for transformative advancements in aerial logistics.

The approved flight corridor, linking California’s New Jerusalem and Byron Airports, spanning approximately 20 miles, will serve as the testing ground for MightyFly’s latest drone model, the 2024 Cento.

Notably, MightyFly has also received authorization to conduct tests beyond the operator’s visual line of sight, with the assistance of a chase plane. This capability is crucial for enabling large-scale drone logistics operations, as highlighted by Axios’ Joann Muller.

The 2024 Cento represents a groundbreaking innovation in drone technology, being a hybrid drone comparable in size to a small single-seater aircraft. Capable of carrying payloads of up to 100 lbs. over distances of up to 600 miles, it is designed for fully autonomous operation, including package loading and unloading. Moreover, its adaptive design allows for dynamic weight and balance adjustments by moving packages within the drone itself.

CEO and founder Manal Habib, an MIT and Stanford graduate with prior experience at drone delivery startup Zipline, emphasizes the vast potential applications of the Cento in B2B expedited logistics. From supplier-to-manufacturer deliveries to transportation between hospitals, labs, warehouses, retail stores, and even DOD use cases, the Cento promises to revolutionize various industries.

Looking ahead, MightyFly plans to showcase the capabilities of the Cento to potential commercial operators and the U.S. Air Force. Additionally, a Series A investment round is on the horizon to support the company’s manufacturing scalability efforts.

With its pioneering technology and regulatory approval, MightyFly is poised to lead the way in ushering in a new era of autonomous cargo drone transportation, shaping the future of aerial logistics.

By Impact Lab