Mon, May 14, 2012
Pilot On Board For First Flight, Will Eventually Be Unmanned
The U.S. Air Force completed the first manned flight of the QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target (FSAT) on May 4 at Cecil Field in Jacksonville, FL. The QF-16 took off at 1505 EDT. Eastern time and climbed to an altitude of 41,000 feet during its 66-minute flight. The Air Force awarded a multi-year contract to Boeing in March 2010 that represented Phase I of the initial engineering, manufacturing and development of the QF-16, with options to buy up to 126 FSATs.
"With this successful first flight of the QF-16, the Air Force, Boeing and our supplier-partners have laid the groundwork for the program to enter low-rate production in 2013 and make its first production delivery in 2014," said Torbjorn Sjogren, Boeing vice president, Global Maintenance and Upgrades.
The functional check flight of the F-16, under control of a Boeing test pilot, validated the basic aircraft performance with the QF-16 drone modification package installed. The additional hardware Boeing installs allows the QF-16 to fly in an unmanned mode while under the control sof a ground-based control system such as the Gulf Range Drone Control System (GRDCS) at Tyndall Air Force Base, FL, or the Drone Formation Control System (DFCS) at White Sands Missile Range (WSMR), NM. During the current test phase in Jacksonville, a GRDCS mobile trailer with portable transmission towers provides communications between the flight controller and other personnel on the ground and the QF-16 pilot.
"This was a tremendous milestone for the program and for Boeing because it signals our continued success as an off-Boeing platform support and sustainment provider," said Bob Insinna, Boeing QF-16 program manager.
The QF-16s will be a higher-performing aircraft than the QF-4 they replace and representative of fourth-generation targets. They will be flown manned or unmanned within a controlled range and equipped to evaluate how U.S. fighters and weapons will operate against potential adversaries. Boeing will deliver six QF-16 test aircraft to Tyndall in October for additional testing over the Gulf Range. Following the successful conclusion of these tests, Boeing will support government flight testing from Holloman Air Force Base, NM, over the WSMR complex.
Also: Blue Origin, Flying Cucumber?, BBJ Combi, NetJets Partners w/Ohio State, ExIm Helo Deal, Long-Range Navy UAS Obviously, the stunt pulled by Douglas Hughes of Ruskin, Florida >[...]
"Scientific literature is filled with papers on the characteristics of Pluto and its moons from ground based and Earth orbiting space observations, but we’ve never studied Pl>[...]
Air Navigation Facility Any facility used in, available for use in, or designed for use in, aid of air navigation, including landing areas, lights, any apparatus or equipment for d>[...]
Company Has Special Focus On Pilgrimage Tours In an acceptance ceremony held today in Marignane, India’s Heritage Aviation received two H125 helicopters acquired for charter >[...]
Quarter-Million Dollar Investment To Help Restore Historic Chappelle Auditorium Boeing has presented a $250,000 grant for Allen University to support the restoration of an historic>[...]