Astro Aerospace’s Elroy passenger drone. Passenger drones – also known as drone taxis, flying taxis, or pilotless helicopters – are a type of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) designed to expedite commute times, often in urban environments. (Image source: Astro Aerospace)

Transport Canada grants Astro Aerospace a flight test certificate for autonomous urban air mobility vehicle

Astro's passenger drone will take flight this week.
Astro Aerospace Ltd. of Dallas, Texas has been been granted a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC), a permit for the operation of an unmanned air vehicle (UAV) system, for its passenger drone project, “Elroy.” This test flight is marked progress for Astro Aerospace’s development of autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aerial vehicles and drones.

Elroy is Astro Aerospace's two passenger eVTOL short haul aerial vehicle. Designed for urban commutes, the vehicle is capable of traveling up to nearly 45 miles per hour for 25 minutes completely emission free. Its utilizes touch flight control for manual or autonomously flight.

The vehicle has 16 individual rotors to maximize safety and performance and leverages fiber-optic technology and a carbon-fiber exterior to reduce aircraft weight and magnetic interference. The wide cabin glass design encasing the cockpit optimizes the travel experience by providing 360-degree surround views and enhanced seating comfort.

Related: Paterson Composites to build components for Astro Aerospace autonomous Passenger Drone

The flight test will be conducted at the Toronto Markham Airport (CNU8) this week. Elroy will perform multiple flight maneuvers, take offs, and landings while using newly developed avionics software and flight control systems.

"Achieving flight approval status through Transport Canada is another step in the right direction for Astro and we are both grateful and appreciative to have been recognized as a valued developer of UAV aircraft and look forward to continued work with Transport Canada in this exciting new category," says Astro CEO Bruce Bent.

Transport Canada is the department within Canadian government responsible for developing aviation and aerospace regulations, policies, and transportation services.


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William Kucinski is content editor at SAE International, Aerospace Products Group in Warrendale, Pa. Previously, he worked as a writer at the NASA Safety Center in Cleveland, Ohio and was responsible for writing the agency’s System Failure Case Studies. His interests include 'literally anything that has to do with space,' past and present military aircraft, and propulsion technology. And also sportscars.

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