Boeing has announced completion of a fuselage structural assembly for the first of three prototypes for the Loyal Wingman program with the Royal Australian Air Force.
“The partnership with Boeing is key to building our understanding of not just the operational implications for these sorts of vehicles, but also making us a smart customer as we consider options for manned-unmanned teaming in the coming decade,” said Air Commodore Darren Goldie of the RAAF.
The fuselage milestone was an exciting one, and part of the first program to develop a military aircraft in Australia in over 50 years, said Dr Shane Arnott, program director, Boeing Airpower Teaming System, in a statement.
Boeing is partnering with RAAF, and local industry participation includes Ferra Engineering, RUAG Australia and BAE Systems Australia.
The first flight of the 11.7-metre aircraft is expected this year.
“The next major milestone will be weight on wheels, when the fuselage structure moves from the assembly jig to the aircraft’s own landing gear to continue systems installation and functional testing,” said Boeing.
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