Unmanned combat aircraft flies for first time in Australia as part of the Boeing Loyal Wingman project

March 9, 2021
The function of the Loyal Wingman is to carry out single missions and to work as part of a team with other crewed or uncrewed aircraft.

WOOMERA, Australia – Boeing's Loyal Wingman combat drone has completed its first flight in the skies over the Woomera Range Complex in Australia. The flight was followed by the announcement that the Australian government has ordered three more prototype aircraft. New Atlas reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

9 March 2021 -- The first flight of the autonomous jet aircraft, which is a joint project of Boeing Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), is the culmination of three years development from initial design to flying prototype.

It comes on the heels of ground tests such as powering up its engines and taxiing to validate the Wingman's ground handling, navigation, control, and pilot interface.

Though the unmanned flight was autonomous, the Loyal Wingman, also known as the Airpower Teaming system (ATS), operated under the supervision of a human pilot from a ground control station at Woomera. During the flight, the drone took off under its own power and flew a predetermined course at various speeds and altitudes as engineers monitored its performance.

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John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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