Boeing accelerates ‘Loyal Wingman’ drone program

Boeing is advancing efforts to introduce new digital engineering capabilities as it prepares for the first flight of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) Loyal Wingman prototype in 2020.

The aerospace giant reported a continues work on developing technology for autonomous aircraft that will help Royal Australian Air Force’s Loyal Wingman prototype take to the skies.

“Our aircraft and mission system is well advanced in our rigorous design and test program, bolstered by Boeing’s adoption of digital engineering,” said Dr. Shane Arnott, director of Boeing’s Phantom Works International. “As a result, we have a live digital copy of the entire aircraft design that we’ve been able to “fly” thousands of times under different scenarios to test aircraft performance and the mission system.”

The Boeing team is using its world-class Systems Analysis Laboratory based in Brisbane, Australia, to simulate and model critical mission capabilities and the aircraft product lifecycle.

“That’s making the real difference in ensuring we can maintain an agile schedule, and offer a truly affordable, attritable unmanned teaming solution for global customers,” Arnott said.

In fact, the Boeing team has already taken the learnings from the lab and is advancing field testing the mission system with surrogate aircraft.

Photo courtesy of Boeing

“We’re using a team of 15 unmanned aircraft – some that can fly 300 kilometers per hour,” said in the company.

Boeing has fielded a team of 15 autonomous test bed aircraft to refine autonomous control algorithms, data fusion, object detection systems, and collision avoidance behaviours.

“We’ve flown 10 of those autonomous test beds in formation using our mission system technology,” Arnott said. “We are continuing to increase the speed and complexity of our testing, most recently with five much larger high-performance jets with the capacity to fly up to 300 kilometers per hour, ahead of the full-speed prototype flight.”

The combined lab and field …read more

Read more here:: Defence Blog (Land)

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