Reports circulate around the world that a Cessna Grand Caravan 208B left the gate, taxied, took off, landed and returned to the gate on its own. Flight was monitored remotely and all air traffic control interactions took place from the ground. Xwing, a San Francisco-based company that introduced autonomous technologies or regional air cargo, is credited with this accomplishment.
Xwing’s entry into the market comes at the right time as new reports show a global gap of 34,000 open pilots by 2025. As e-commerce grows to over $4.2 trillion, the success of e-commerce also depends on the efficiency of the air freight industry. Xwing plans to use its e-commerce logistics technology to improve accessibility to small airports and more efficient freight transportation.
Marc Piette, CEO and founder of Xwing, said of the latest autonomous flight: “Over the past year, our team has made significant advancements in extending and refining our AutoFlight system to seamlessly integrate ground taxiing, take-offs, landings, and flight operations, all supervised from our mission control center via redundant data links. Additionally, our piloted commercial cargo operations have been delivering critical supplies including COVID-19 vaccines, to remote communities since December 2020.”
For more information, read the original story in ZDNET