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Friday, November 17, 2006

Boeing Resumes A160 Tests

Boeing touted the successful resumption of test flights of its A160 Hummingbird unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), saying the rotorcraft proved its “versatility through a rigorous flight test program.” Boeing resumed test operations near Victorville, Calif., this month as a team of engineers from Boeing and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) flew the A160 in a 45-minute test that included both hover and forward flight. A six-cylinder gasoline engine variant is used in the latest series of tests. The A160, which has accumulated more than 1,000 ground test hours and 58.5 flight hours during 32 flights, is 35 feet long with a 36-foot rotor diameter, and will fly up to 140 knots with a ceiling of 25,000-30,000 feet for up to 20 hours. Boeing said operational A160Ts will be capable of performing persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, target acquisition, communication relay and precision re-supply missions. More

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