Pipistrel presents Nuuva series of cargo eVTOL aircraft
Pipistrel, the pioneer of Type Certified electric aviation, is taking orders for the Nuuva V300 - the flagship model of the Nuuva series of unmanned air vehicles (UAV). This aircraft is set to disrupt aerial cargo transportation by commercializing the use of electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. The autonomous aircraft can carry up to 460 kg offers the efficiency and reliability of electric powertrains. Entry into service is planned for the second half of 2023.
Currently, precious cargo is delivered to many locations around the world with helicopters, which are excellent for hovering but much less efficient in cruise flight, as they rely solely on their rotor(s) to provide the necessary lift. Their complex flight mechanics also results in a high number of moving parts, requiring frequent maintenance and inspection, further increasing the costs of operation.
The Nuuva family combines the best of both aeroplane and helicopter air cargo transportation principles. The unmanned eVTOL capability enables it to go where no aeroplane is able to, while its hybrid configuration allows it to operate at a fraction of the cost of a helicopter on an equivalent mission. The Nuuva V300, with its simplicity, efficiency, and autonomy, is targeting to deliver a 10x improvement in economics to the operator.
Reliable and simple to operate
The large cargo compartment accepts up to three Euro-pallets (EPAL) that can be easily loaded with a regular forklift. The Nuuva V300 then flies a preloaded flight plan fully autonomously, controlled by a highly reliable digital flight control system. Continuous communication allows the ground operator, who manages the vehicle with simple mouse-clicks, to have ultimate control in case of changes or cancellation of the flight.
The Nuuva V300 takes-off and lands using eight independent battery-powered Pipistrel E-811 electric engines, already Type Certified. The whole system is safeguarded by the integrated health self?monitoring system that alerts of any potential malfunction even before it occurs, increasing the reliability and safety. Nuuva V300’s batteries can be charged by simply plugging-in to a SkyCharge by Pipistrel and Green Motion charging station.
A dependable and proven internal combustion engine in the aft fuselage powers the aircraft in cruise flight, offering unbeatable fuel economy and low maintenance costs. A unique tandem-wing configuration with fly-by-wire control surfaces boosts the aerodynamic efficiency and reduces the landing footprint of the vehicle, while assuring a wide centre-of-gravity margin.
Flexibility at a low cost
The Nuuva V300 can be customized for a wide range of missions. For operators that prioritize longer range, the vehicle’s payload capacity and anti-ice capabilities can be traded-off for more usable fuel, being able to transport 50-kg payload for as far as 2,500 km – all this without compromising the ability to take-off and land vertically from altitudes as high as 8,000 ft. At lower take-off altitudes and with shorter mission requirements, the payload can be increased to up to 460 kg, beating the coveted 1,000 lb threshold.
Nuuva V20, the last-mile delivery shuttle
The smaller sibling of the Nuuva family, the V20, shares the same architecture and advantages of the larger V300 but is designed as a lightweight cargo courier carrying payloads of up to 20 kg. First customers will be able to take deliveries as early as 2021.