Boeing has completed the first flight mission of the second Loyal Wingman uncrewed jet at the Woomera Range Complex in Australia.
The flight test marks a major milestone in the programme.
Loyal Wingman is an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) being developed by Boeing Australia in partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
It is the concept demonstrator of the company’s Airpower Teaming System (ATS).
RAAF Head of Air Force Capability air vice-marshal Cath Roberts said: “It is so exciting seeing two aircraft in the air as the Loyal Wingman continues to excel in the flight-test programme.
“This opens up significant capability agility for airforce, particularly with features such as the reconfigurable nose.”
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“We’re heavily engaged in the payload development and the element of surprise that it gives us in the battlespace. You never really know what’s in the nose.”
The company also noted that the first ATS aircraft showcased key characteristics, including the raising and engaging of the landing gear for the first time during the flight. These missions continue to expand the programme’s flight envelope.
Throughout the test flights, Boeing and the RAAF teams gathered data on aircraft performance.
The data gathered will be used to accelerate the aircraft’s development.
Boeing Airpower Teaming System Australia and International director Glen Ferguson said: “We’re in a steady rhythm of flight testing on the way to mission and operational testing, enabling Boeing Australia, RAAF and our Australian industry team of more than 35 companies to progressively advance the flight characteristics and capabilities of the uncrewed teaming system.
“I’d like to extend my thanks to our capability partner BAE Systems Australia, and to RUAG Australia for their specific roles in this latest test block.”
In September, Boeing selected the Toowoomba site in Queensland as the final assembly facility for the Loyal Wingman military combat aircraft.