Boeing Australia and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) have successfully completed the first high-speed taxi test of the unmanned Loyal Wingman drone in preparation for first flight. Crews monitored the aircraft’s performance and instrumentation from a ground control station to verify the functionality while the vehicle reached accelerated speeds. This uncrewed aircraft is currently undergoing low-, medium-, and high-speed taxi testing at a remote test location in Australia. Read more for the video and additional information.
The drone measures 38 feet long and has a removable nose that can be eqipped with mission-specific sensors as well as other payloads. It also saves money by incorporating resin-infused composite structures capable of snapping into another to form the plane’s wings, cutting down on the manpower needed to manufacture the aircraft. The stealth features are classified, but the team did say there was a lot of thought put into getting that right balance of ‘good enough’ across the board, and radar signature is obviously an aspect.
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There is something very special about testing an aircraft that takes technology to the next level. It is iconic in its own way. Experiencing the enthusiasm of the Boeing and Air Force team reminded me of my early career testing aircraft. This is what innovation is all about – working together to achieve many firsts,” said Cath Roberts, RAAF Head of Air Force Capability Air Vice-Marshal.