Rotor have flown its R220Y, an uncrewed R&D aircraft based on the Robinson R22 2-seat helicopter, took place at Nashua Airport before a crowd of around 100 people. The aircraft performed a full startup procedure, hovered in front of the audience, made turning maneuvers, and descended to land after around three minutes in the air. To the company’s knowledge, this historic flight is the first time that an uncrewed full-scale helicopter has ever flown publicly in front of a crowd. It marks an important milestone on Rotor’s path to operational readiness for commercial missions. 

Rotor is building the first two R550Xs at its facilities in Nashua. These aircraft are expected to begin agricultural flights later this year. The R550X is based on the Robinson R44 Raven II. It is designed to lift heavy loads up to 1,212 lbs, or 550 kg, with no pilot onboard. With a flight time of over three hours and a top speed of 150 miles per hour, the R550X offers long-range VTOL capabilities beyond the reach of drones and eVTOLs.