Boeing has signed a new agreement with Israel-based Tactical Robotics, an exploratory agreement that will make the two companies work together to “develop, produce and market” aircraft with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities based on Tactical Robotics’ Closed rotor technology ‘Fancraft’.
Already, Tactical Robotics, owned by Urban Areonautics, has developed “Cormorant”, a flying autonomous vehicle that has the footprint of approximately a Humvee, but that can take off and land vertically thanks to its Fancraft rotors. Unlike open rotors, these are placed inside the ducts that provide advantages both in terms of directing the air flow and of greater safety for anyone around the vehicle because they are mostly covered. This new agreement between the two companies will begin with the exploration of options for Cormorant in terms of production and implementation, for potential applications, including disaster response.
However, the general agreement between Boeing and Tactical Robotics could be much broader and includes the development and exploration of both pilot and autonomous VTOL aircraft. This is another example of how the VTOL industry is warming up in terms of partnership, investments and production.