Showing posts with label Everts Air Cargo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Everts Air Cargo. Show all posts

13 April, 2023

Merlin awarded FAA contract to deploy USA's first air cargo network flown by non-human pilot

The Merlin Pilot will be the first highly automated flight control system integrated into the National Airspace System (NAS); Fairbanks, Alaska-based flight trials to begin in Q2 2023.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded Merlin, the leading developer of safe autonomous flight technology for fixed-wing aircraft, a $1 million contract to demonstrate a highly automated flight control system in conjunction with a safety pilot. In partnership with the FAA-designated University of Alaska Fairbanks UAS Test Site and Everts Air Cargo, the Merlin Pilot will be the first autonomous system integrated into the NAS. Flight trials will run along three test routes serving five destinations. All test routes originate from the FAA-designated UAS Alaska test site in Q2 2023.

Last year, Merlin announced a $105 million Series B financing along with key partnerships with the United States Air Force, the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority, and the FAA. The funding has allowed Merlin to continue developing its integrated hardware and software solution known as the Merlin Pilot.

“Alaska’s terrain and inclement weather can challenge the most experienced pilots. And yet remote communities rely on air cargo deliveries for vital supplies such as milk, mail, and medicine. Working with Merlin on these flight trials benefits our residents and provides data with each flight that will create not only a safer airspace in Alaska but technology that is applicable worldwide,” said Dr Cathy Cahill, Director of the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (ACUASI) at the UAF Geophysical Institute.