North Texas test flight demonstrates point-to-point package delivery

The Alliance Texas Mobility Innovation Zone has hosted an autonomous point-to-point package delivery by Hillwood and Bell Textron. The Bell Autonomous Pod Transport (APT) flew a pre-planned four-mile route across the Mobility Innovation Zone (MIZ) to the landing area to demonstrate future commercial capabilities. The APT is designed to be capable of various missions from package delivery to critical medical transport and disaster relief.

the APT initiated a vertical takeoff, and then rotated to fly on its wing, becoming nearly silent to the ground below. It reached a maximum altitude of 300 feet above ground level. Its route included flying near I-35W and miles of unpopulated fields as the aircraft transitioned in and out of Class D and Class G airspace, demonstrating the types of airspace the APT could encounter during a commercial flight and the unique diversity of airspace within the MIZ.

“Bell is proud to play a role in the first North Texas UAS package delivery, and this demonstration showcases the future application of the APT 70 as a logistics carrier,” said Mitch Snyder, president and CEO of Bell. “Testing at the MIZ showcases how Bell’s autonomous vehicles could seamlessly integrate into logistics operations and unlock new opportunities for businesses.”

Data collected during the demonstration will be used to support future standards development and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification guidelines.

Bell and Hillwood have joined forces with the Tarrant Regional Transportation Coalition (TRTC), a public-private partnership focused on advancing mobility innovation within the western portion of North Texas, to create a regional ecosystem supported by leaders in government and the private sector.

APT is designed to reach speeds of more than 100 mph and has a baseline payload capability of 70 pounds.

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