Maritime Engineering Journal No. 97 Summer 2021, Page 19

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The Sky Canoe autonomous drone joint initiative brings together NMTM with Transport Canada, Independent First Nations Alliance (IFNA), the Royal Canadian Air Force, and Sky Canoe Inc. in Toronto, ON to test a novel vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drone system. The Sky Canoe aircraft (Figure 6) is a long-range, heavy lift autonomous cargo aircraft that operates much like a fixed-wing aircraft, but uses a unique vectoring thrust system to obtain a smooth transition from vertical takeoff to forward flight operations. It has the benefits of a helicopter when it comes to landing and takeoff ability, with the greater flight efficiencies of a fixed-wing aircraft. Sky Canoe incorporates sensors, navigation systems, communication systems and other equipment to permit operation beyond visual line-of-sight, and NMTM is exploring its potential for aerial surveillance operations and airborne delivery of life-saving equipment. Further investigations will include a hydrogen-fuelled variant (with an expected range of 2000 km), and a demonstration of its capability as an autonomous VTOL aircraft operating from a maritime platform