Loyal Wingman Drone's Fuselage Complete, First Flight in 2020

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  • 07:35 AM, February 10, 2020
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Loyal Wingman Drone's Fuselage Complete, First Flight in 2020
Fuselage of the stealthy Loyal Wingman unmanned aerial vehicle

Boeing has completed fuselage structural assembly for the first stealth-capable Loyal Wingman drone, and is targeting its first flight for this year.

The Loyal Wingman (Boeing Airpower Teaming System) is designed to use artificial intelligence (AI) in teaming with other manned and unmanned platforms.

The aircraft is one of three prototypes that will be developed as a part of the Loyal Wingman – Advanced Development Program in partnership with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Digital engineering and advanced composite materials have been applied to achieve cost and agility goals for the 38-foot (11.7-meter) aircraft.

Loyal Wingman Drone's Fuselage Complete, First Flight in 2020
A model of the Loyal Wingman was unveiled at the Australian International Airshow February 2019.

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. The aircraft is expected to complete its first flight this year, Boeing said in a statement Monday.

For the Loyal Wingman, BAE Systems delivered hardware kits including flight control computers and navigation equipment; RUAG Australia delivered the landing gear system; Ferra Engineering supplied precision machine components and sub-assemblies to support the program; and AME Systems provided wiring looms to support the vehicle.

This first Loyal Wingman prototype will provide key lessons toward production of the ATS, which Boeing Australia is developing for the global defense market. ATS sensors and systems can be chosen according to requirements.












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