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Introducing the Future of Remote Aviation in Partnership with Ameriflight: Natilus POD 

The air cargo industry is vital to our contemporary way of life, but it hasn’t experienced a step change in modernization over the past several decades. Similar to general aviation, technological improvements in the commercial cargo world happen incrementally and prudently. However, the industry has reached a watershed moment with the culmination of pilot shortages, skyrocketing ecommerce demand, and supply chain inefficiencies – as well as significant advancements in relevant technologies.

Today, we are thrilled to introduce Natilus Pilot Operations Desk (POD): a cutting-edge ground control station designed to seamlessly integrate with the Natilus family of next-generation cargo aircraft. Our partnership with Ameriflight, leader in regional air cargo and aviation transportation, will ensure we are directly addressing major challenges the cargo industry is currently facing while building a roadmap for the evolution of the product.

With Natilus POD, we set out to push the boundaries of how air cargo operators aviate, navigate, and communicate, while providing functional benefits that were previously unattainable. The POD serves as a conduit that enables remote pilots to interface with the skies as seamlessly as if they were in the cockpit. This ease of operation will translate into improved training and reduced operational costs for customers. It also means happier and healthier pilots that can work from the comfort of an operations center near their homes. Eventually, one operator will be able to monitor up to three Natilus aircraft from the POD, enabling global reach with local control, all built to safety measures high above today’s standards. This provides the added benefit of more easily scaling business operations to meet growing scheduled and on-demand needs.

The POD is a major milestone on our path towards integrating the Natilus fleet into our customers’ existing operations. We’re proud to be partnered with the Ameriflight team who is playing a crucial role in shaping the future of Natilus POD. Their hands-on testing and feedback of our developments are invaluable in refining the system, ensuring it meets the rigorous demands of real-world cargo operations. Ameriflight’s involvement brings critical insights into the day-to-day challenges and opportunities in air cargo, guiding the evolution of the POD to better serve the industry.

“Ameriflight is proud to partner with Natilus on this state-of-the-art aircraft and the technology that’s being created alongside it. We’re impressed with Natilus’ continued commitment and recognition of the air cargo industry need, directly demonstrated by their hands-on and collaborative approach to receiving feedback on needed capabilities,” says Ameriflight CEO Alan Rusinowitz. “We look forward to our continued partnership and ultimately to implementing the Natilus aircraft into our operation to ensure the success of additional business growth opportunities on our horizon.”

Ameriflight team members with Natilus CEO Aleksey Matyushev

Natilus is leveraging satellite and airborne networks aided with cloud infrastructure to ensure communications that are robust, redundant, timely, and compliant. With our network partners, we are demonstrating seamless ATC communications and C2 links for all phases of flight. In a sophisticated airspace and with near-airport infrastructure, aircraft operators can interface with ATC through traditional voice comms or data comms in lock step with the FAA’s broader NextGen initiative. This includes integration with existing technologies like Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC), development of ground-to-ground digital voice solutions, and more. In a remote environment, the vehicle is an airborne relay via a Satcom network to enable safe, cooperative communications and vehicle deconfliction if required.

Inside Natilus POD with Ameriflight

The POD connects securely to a sophisticated cloud network that manages the real-time data filtering and layering for the pilot. The cloud manages the different data streams including redundant C2 links, redundant ATC comms, 4D air traffic situational awareness, meteorological data, relevant airspace advisories, and more to facilitate continuous, real-time operational decision.

Our partnership with Ameriflight closes the loop with our customers, bringing operational requirements into the fold early in the POD development. Natilus POD is another step towards a more efficient, safe, and connected future for the air cargo industry.