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News Link • Drones

Air Force’s unmanned F-16 fighter jet completes first flight

• http://rt.com
  It is now possible for fighter jets to fly supersonic speeds, land, and operate normally without a pilot on board.

Boeing announced Tuesday that modified versions of the F-16 Fighting Falcon will operate as a QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target for use in Air Force training practices. Last week, two Air Force pilots controlled the first successful flight from the ground station at Florida’s Tydall Air Force Base.  

The maiden flight departed from the runway as normal and completed a series of simulated maneuvers in the air over the Gulf of Mexico, surpassing the speed of sound and landing safely. 

It was a little different to see it without anyone in it, but it was a great flight all the way around,” said US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Inman, the commander of the 82nd Aerial targets Squadron. “It’s a replication of current, real world situations and aircraft platforms they can shoot as a target. Now we have a 9G capable, highly sustainable aerial target.” 

The Air Force has maintained that QF-16s will only be used in training exercises when pilots are completing dogfight simulations in the air. The planes remain capable of being flown by an on board pilot though, and a bomb will be placed on board in the event that an unmanned plane needs to be destroyed. 
 
 

 
 

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Ed Vallejo
Entered on:

 ...but of course this could never have been done with an airliner on an unnamed monumental date...


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