Boeing X-45A Begins Testing
New Software Build
Saint Louis, Missouri – (Boeing)
March 19, 2004 -- The Boeing [NYSE: BA] X-45A unmanned aircraft
completed two critical flights last week at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center,
Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.
The Boeing Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) X-45A
technology demonstrator took to the air on Mar. 11 and 14. These were the first
tests of the final build of the Block 2 software, flying to the aircraft’s
maximum demonstration envelope of 0.75M and 35,000 ft; it also opened and closed
the weapons bay, clearing the vehicle to conduct the rest of the Block 2 flights.
The information gathered from the flights allow the team to proceed with the
upcoming inert weapons drop from the X-45 weapons bay and multiple vehicle
coordinated flights. The flight also included transmitting a (stored) synthetic
aperture radar (SAR) image to the ground operator, demonstrating the capability
to do so within the operational timeline and bandwidth constraints.
“These flights went extremely well,” said Darryl Davis,
J-UCAS X-45 program manager, for Boeing. “Not only did we gather critical data
enabling future milestones, the aircraft demonstrated its ability to
interoperate with manned aircraft. During the test, a T-38 pilot declared an
in-flight emergency when our aircraft was on final approach with the gear down.
Our team successfully sent the X-45 around the pattern allowing the other
aircraft to land uneventfully.”
The J-UCAS X-45 program is a DARPA/U.S. Air Force/U.S. Navy/Boeing
effort to demonstrate the technical feasibility, military utility and
operational value of an unmanned air combat system for both the Air Force and
The two X-45A technology demonstrators are currently
verifying the core functionality of the software necessary for these and related
missions. The first flight for the X-45C will be in mid 2006.
A unit of The Boeing Company,
Integrated Defense Systems is one of the
world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing
Integrated Defense Systems is a $27 billion business. It provides systems
solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a
leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's
largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite
manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary
systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a
global leader in launch services.
Contact : Bill Barksdale, Boeing
Air Force Systems, (314) 232-0860 (office), (314) 707-3294 (cell)