CHICAGO. Boeing (NYSE:BA) officials plan to accelerate the company’s development of game-changing autonomy and propulsion technologies for innovative aerospace vehicles with the acquisition of Aurora Flight Sciences Corp., developer and manufacturer of advanced aerospace platforms specializing in autonomous systems technologies to enable advanced robotic aircraft for future aerospace applications and vehicles.
The acquisition certainly could benefit Boeing’s commercial and military aircraft segments, as well as Insitu – focused on the design, development, production, and operation of high-performance, cost-effective unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), in Bingen, Wash. – and Zunum Aero, Seattle-based maker of commercial regional-transit, hybrid-to-electric aircraft, in which the company has invested alongside Jet Blue.
"The combined strength and innovation of our teams will advance the development of autonomy for our commercial and military systems," says Greg Hyslop, chief technology officer and senior vice president of Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology. "Together, these talented teams will open new markets with transformational technologies."
Leveraging autonomous systems that include perception, machine learning, and advanced flight control systems, Aurora has designed, produced and flown more than 30 unmanned air vehicles since the company was founded in 1989. Aurora Flight Sciences is a leader in the emerging field of electric propulsion for aircraft. During the last decade, Aurora has collaborated with Boeing on the rapid prototyping of innovative aircraft and structural assemblies for both military and commercial applications.
"Since its inception, Aurora has been focused on the development of innovative aircraft that leverage autonomy to make aircraft smarter," says John Langford, Aurora founder and chief executive officer. "As an integral part of Boeing, our pioneered technologies of long-endurance aircraft, robotic co-pilots, and autonomous electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (VTOLs) will be transitioned into world-class products for the global infrastructure."
Aurora will be a subsidiary under Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology known as Aurora Flight Sciences, A Boeing Company. It will retain an independent operating model while benefiting from Boeing's resources and position as the leading provider of aerospace products and services.
Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, Aurora has more than 550 employees and operates in six states in the U.S. including a research and development center located near MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, manufacturing facilities in Bridgeport, West Virginia, and Columbus, Mississippi, with offices in Dayton, Ohio; Mountain View, California; and Luzern, Switzerland.
Image: Zunum Aero in Seattle
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