Boeing Demonstrates Little Bird H-6U’s Autonomous Ship-Based Potential
12:00 AM, August 8, 2012
Boeing has successfully tested the unmanned Little Bird H-6U with 14 autonomous takeoffs and landings from a ship during flight tests in July. During the tests, Boeing integrated a commercial-off-the-shelf takeoff-and-landing system with Unmanned Little Bird's automated flight control system. Two safety pilots were aboard the optionally piloted aircraft to maintain situational awareness and to be able to take control of the aircraft, though that was not required. The aircraft accumulated 20 flight hours with 100 percent availability. "Unmanned Little Bird performed flawlessly, proving not only its reliability as a mature platform but its adaptability for various missions and continued innovation," said Debbie Rub, Boeing vice president and general manager of Missiles and Unmanned Airborne Systems. "By successfully demonstrating this maritime capability, we are able to provide warfighters with a critical unmanned solution to meet their missions". The aircraft's missions include intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; precision cargo resupply; weapons delivery; and manned-unmanned teaming.