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.”