Boeing Invents a Universal Lift Vehicle

Boeing may have solved the transportation problem forever.

Helicopters and similar lift vehicles are commonly used to lift payloads and transport them from one location to another.

If a payload larger than the capacity of the lift vehicle is to be lifted, the entire payload is divided into multiple payload portions, each being a size and weight that is within the safe allowable lifting capacity of the lift vehicle to be used during the operation. Thereafter, the lift vehicle makes multiple trips to lift and move all of the payload portions from point A to point B until the entire payload has been moved. This approach increases the cost, time and risk associated with the operation.

Boeing has developed a unified lift vehicle that can be quickly reconfigured based on the weight and size of the payload.


The universal lift vehicle is a modular vehicle system that includes multiple drones which can be connected together. Each drone will have individual capacity to carry a certain weight. Therefore, if the weight of a payload is less than the capacity of a single drone, then a single drone is used to transfer the payload. However, if the payload is heavier than the capacity of a single drone, then multiple drones are connected together to build a lift vehicle that can carry the heavy payload.

Drones are expected to be used for transporting objects and people in near future. The universal lift vehicle patented by Boeing could be widely used as it provides a lot of flexibility for various end users.

Patent Information
Publication number: US 9,457,899
Patent Title: Modular vehicle lift system
Publication date: 4 Oct 2016
Filing date: 24 Jun 2013
Inventors: Michael J. Duffy; Scott H. Bouwer; John J. Mattero;
Original Assignee: The Boeing Company