Ameriflight (AMF, Burbank) has ordered twenty Natilus Kona uncrewed aerial vehicles, each capable of carrying up to 3.8 tonnes of payload.

"In looking forward, adding this state-of-the-art aircraft will complement our fleet and increase our aptness, allowing us to expand on what we do best and ensuring the success of additional business growth opportunities we have underway. Natilus' technology is at the forefront of autonomous innovation and provides a lower cost of operation while remaining well-suited in capabilities for the customers in our corner of the industry," President and COO Alan Rusinowitz said.

The parties did not disclose the delivery timeline for the UAVs. The first flight of the Kona is planned for 2024, with deliveries tentatively expected to begin a year later.

Natilus is developing three blended-wing-body (BBW) UAVs capable of carrying cargo in standard containers. The start-up's Kona UAV will be powered by two turboprop engines, while larger Alisio and Nordes types, capable of carrying 60 and 100 tonnes of payload, respectively, on transoceanic routes, are planned as jet UAVs. The US-based start-up said it had USD6.8 billion in order commitments for over 460 UAVs and disclosed Flexport, Astral Aviation, and Volatus Aerospace among its customers.

The ch-aviation fleets advanced module shows that Ameriflight currently operates three Saab 340B(F)s (with plans to increase this fleet to fifteen units), eight EMB-120ER(F)s, five EMB-120RT(F)s, and a single EMB-120ER. Its fleet also includes Beech 1900C and Metroliner(F) aircraft.