FedEx Express is to test Elroy Air’s Chaparral autonomous air cargo system in its ‘middle-mile’ logistics operations, moving shipments between sorting sites from next year. California Bay-based Elroy Air is building the first end-to-end autonomous vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aerial cargo system in the US.
Elroy Air unveiled its Chaparral autonomous aircraft in January 2022. It can autonomously pick up 300-500lbs of cargo and deliver it up to 300 miles. The Chaparral is capable of longer-range flights without the need for additional infrastructure, such as airports or charging stations.
FedEx and Elroy Air will pursue certifications and begin flight testing in 2023.