The A160 Hummingbird Unmanned Aerial System¸ 6-cylinder gasoline engine variant returned to flight this month as work continues in parallel towards the first flight of the turbine powered A160T next Spring. [Boeing photo]
The A160 Hummingbird Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) resumed flight testing at an airfield near Victorville, Calif. on Nov. 8. The successful 45-minute test included both hovering and forward flight. “The success of this flight is indicative of the hard work put in by the Boeing/ Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency A160 team” said Jim Martin, A160 program manager. “This innovative unmanned aerial system continues to prove its versatility through a rigorous flight test program."
Engineers are currently analyzing the flight data to determine objectives for the next series of test flights. This current series of test flights are being conducted using the 6-cylinder gasoline engine variant as work continues in parallel towards the first flight of the turbine powered A160T next Spring.
The A160 Hummingbird has accumulated more than 1000 ground test hours, and 58.5 flight hours during 32 flights. The autonomous UAS is 35 feet long with a 36-foot rotor diameter, and will fly up to140 knots with a ceiling in the range of 25-30,000 ft. (high hover capability up to 15,000 ft) for up to 20 hrs. Operational A160s will be capable of performing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; target acquisition; communication relay and precision re-supply missions.