Fri, Nov 17, 2006
Powered By Subaru 6-Cylinder Engine
After nearly a year since its first flight with an uprated
powerplant, Boeing's A160 Hummingbird unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)
returned to the skies over as Victorville, CA last week. Flight
testing on the autonomous rotorcraft resumed November 8.
A team of test engineers from Boeing and the Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA) put the A160 through its paces in
a 45-minute test that included both hover and forward flight.
"The success of this latest flight is a tribute to the hard work
of the Boeing and DARPA A160 team," said Jim Martin, Boeing A160
program manager. "This innovative unmanned aerial system continues
to prove its versatility through a rigorous flight test
This current series of test flights is being conducted using the
six-cylinder Subaru gasoline engine variant. Engineers will analyze
the flight data and determine objectives for subsequent test
flights at the same time that work continues in parallel toward the
first flight of the turbine-powered A160T next spring.
The A160 Hummingbird has accumulated more than 1,000 ground test
hours and 58.5 flight hours during 32 flights. The autonomous UAV
is 35 feet long with a 36-foot rotor diameter and will fly up to
140 knots with a ceiling of 25-30,000 ft. (high hover capability up
to 15,000 ft.) for up to 20 hours.
Boeing says operational A160Ts will be capable of performing
persistent intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; target
acquisition; communication relay and precision re-supply
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