Blue Force Technologies (BFT) has conducted a ground test for Fury uncrewed aircraft, being developed under the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) Bandit programme.

The test, performed in collaboration with AFRL, successfully validated the performance of Fury’s novel carbon fibre composite propulsion flow-path system.

BFT president Scott Bledsoe said: “On an uncrewed fighter like Fury, proper integration of propulsion flow-path is the most significant design driver for overall vehicle.

“It was crucial to us to demonstrate, prior to building flight-test aircraft, that we could correctly predict interaction between propulsion flow-path components and Williams International engine.”

The test saw BFT and AFRL team carry out a time-accurate ‘computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis’, using comprehensive computational resources from the US Army Engineer Research and Development Centre and AFRL.

BFT said the effort aimed to validate the analysis to further strengthen the team’s confidence to use CFD tools for remaining flight envelope portions.

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It also allowed AFRL and BTF to gather high-fidelity data that can be used for validating computational methods in near future.

The contract for AFRL’s Bandit programme was awarded to BFT in March last year.

It aimed to mature a fifth-generation uncrewed aircraft that can support adversary air training missions of the US Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps and can further be adapted for Autonomous Collaborative Platform missions.

AFRL Bandit programme manager Alyson Turri said: “After making engine selection in June 2022, the AFRL and BFT team worked to finalise test objectives and procedures concurrently with BFT’s hardware build to ensure this full-scale test came together in under six months.”