Boeing Australia has powered up the commercial turbofan engine on the first Loyal Wingman aircraft in September, as part of ground testing and preparations for first flight.
The aircraft is the first of three Loyal Wingman prototype aircraft the company is building with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Designed to extend and protect existing aircraft, the prototypes are the foundation for future unmanned teaming aircraft to be developed for global air forces through the Boeing Airpower Teaming System program.
“This engine run gets us closer toward flying the first aircraft later this year and was successful thanks to the collaboration and dedication of our team,” said Dr. Shane Arnott, program director of the Boeing Airpower Teaming System. “We’ve been able to select a very light, off-the-shelf jet engine for the unmanned system as a result of the advanced manufacturing technologies applied to the aircraft.”
Boeing had completed the first unmanned Loyal Wingman aircraft for the RAAF earlier this year.
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