Boe­ing QF-16 aerial tar­get com­pletes first pi­lot­less flight


Boe­ing and the US Air Force have com­pleted the first un­manned QF-16 full scale aerial tar­get flight, demon­strat­ing the next-gen­er­a­tion of com­bat train­ing and test­ing.

Two US Air Force test pi­lots in a ground con­trol sta­tion re­motely flew the QF-16, which is a re­tired F-16 jet mod­i­fied to be an aerial tar­get. The QF-16 mis­sion pro­file in­cluded auto take­off, a se­ries of sim­u­lated ma­noeu­vrs, su­per­sonic flight, and an auto land, all with­out a pi­lot in the cock­pit.

“It was a lit­tle dif­fer­ent to see an F-16 take off with­out any­one in it, but it was a great flight all the way around,” said Lt Col Ryan In­man, Com­man­der, 82nd Aerial Tar- gets Squadron. “Now we have a mis­sion ca­pa­ble, highly sus­tain­able full-scale aerial tar­get to take us into the fu­ture.”

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