Boeing Tests UAV

By Tish Drake | October 1, 2007
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Boeing said it successfully flew its A160T Hummingbird unmanned rotorcraft in September for eight hours while carrying a 1,000-pound payload. During its longest flight to date and the program’s 42nd flight overall, the aircraft reached an altitude of 5,000 feet near Victorville, Calif. Boeing said the half-ton payload simulated the delivery of critical supplies to the battlefield. Future payloads will include a combination of sensors, weapons and systems to perform a variety of missions. Since its first flight in June, the A160T has logged several additional flights, including a five-hour flight Aug. 29. Boeing said it plans to fly the aircraft for 18 consecutive hours with a 300-pound payload. The A160T is a turbine-powered version of the piston-powered A160 helicopter. The aircraft used during the tests is the second of 11 A160Ts Boeing Advanced Systems is building for the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency. The Hummingbird autonomous unmanned aircraft, measuring 35 feet long with a 36-foot rotor diameter, eventually will fly more than 140 knots with a ceiling of 25,000 to 30,000 feet for up to 20 hours.

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