Second Loyal Wingman unmanned combat jet flies for second time, with artificial intelligence (AI) and sensors

Nov. 17, 2021
The jet-powered drone works together with other RAAF combat aircraft, including the F-35A, F/A-18F, and E-7A in defense and surveillance modes.

ST. LOUIS – The Boeing Loyal Wingman prototype unmanned combat jet reached a new milestone as two of the autonomous aircraft took to the skies recently in separate flights over the Woomera Range Complex in Australia. New Atlas reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

17 Nov. 2021 -- This marks the first time that the second unmanned combat jet has flown and the first time the landing gear on the craft was raised and engaged.

Making its first flight on 17 Feb. 2021, the Loyal Wingman is being developed for and in partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) along with 35 private companies. The recent tests are significant not only because the prototype fleet is growing, but also because it lays the foundation for demonstrating how such drones can work as part of a team.

The Loyal Wingman's development and production are accelerated by the use of a digital twin that is refined as aircraft performance data is collected during the test flights to expand its performance envelope. It has flight characteristics comparable to a conventional fighter and uses artificial intelligence (AI) and a modular design.

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John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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