The prototype of Boeing's MQ-25 unmanned aerial refuelling drone, nearly the size of F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter, has entered the testing phase.
The company plans to test fly the MQ-25 Stingray, known as T-1 or "Tail 1," before the end of the year.
But first it must pass ground taxiing tests and the Federal Aviation Administration must certify the aircraft and grant clear airspace for it to fly. Ground control stations are being installed at the airport.
Theaircraft will next undergo testing on the east coast. The Navy will then hoist it onto an aircraft carrier for deck handling testing, KMOV-TV reported.
The first Navy aircraft is scheduled to fly in fiscal year 2021.
Boeing MQ-25 Stingray is an aerial refueling drone that resulted from the Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System (CBARS) program. It is capable of refuelling other aircraft mid-flight, including the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Boeing EA-18G Growler and Lockheed Martin F-35C fighters.