Boeing Australia recently achieved two more milestones on the RAAF’s Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program: weight on wheels and aircraft power on.
The development milestones for the unmanned aircraft come just weeks after completion of the first fuselage, allowing for rapid progress on systems installation and functional and integration testing from the aircraft’s own landing gear.
“We’re continuing at pace toward our goal of flying later this year, so that we can show our customer and the world what unmanned capability like this can do,” said Dr. Shane Arnott, program director of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System. “The strong contributions from our industry team are powering our progress.”
The first fuselage was completed in February. An Australian team has applied digital engineering and advanced composite materials to achieve cost and agility goals for the 38-foot (11.7-metre) aircraft, which is designed to use artificial intelligence in teaming with other manned and unmanned platforms.
“The partnership with Boeing is key to building our understanding of not just the operational implications for these sorts of vehicles, but also making us a smart customer as we consider options for manned-unmanned teaming in the coming decade,” Air Commodore Darren Goldie, RAAF Director-General of Air Combat Capability, said. “Boeing is progressing very well with its development and we look forward to seeing the final product in the coming months.”