Boeing completed the first synchronized unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight tests last week using new onboard autonomous command-and-control technology developed by Boeing in Australia. The flights, conducted in Queensland, used five UAVs equipped with Boeing’s onboard system. The vehicles completed in-air programmed missions as a team without human pilot input.
The flight tests occurred six months after Boeing established its largest international autonomous systems development program in Queensland in partnership with the Queensland government as part of Boeing’s Advance Queensland Autonomous Systems Platform Technology Project. Boeing has partnered with 14 local small and medium businesses to drive rapid design, development, and testing of the system.
“This capability will be a huge driver of efficiency and productivity. By safely teaming unmanned systems with human-operated systems, we keep people away from dull, dirty, and dangerous tasks so they can focus on activities that machines can’t or shouldn’t do,” said Shane Arnott, director of Boeing Phantom Works International. Over the coming months, Boeing's Australia team will incorporate and test more advanced behaviors on high-performance air vehicles, the company said.