http://www.defpro.com/news/details/10494/Boeing A160T Unmanned Helicopter Flies With Foliage-Penetrating Radar in DARPA Tests
The Boeing [NYSE: BA] A160T Hummingbird unmanned helicopter successfully completed 20 test flights from Aug. 31 to Oct. 8 with the Foliage Penetration Reconnaissance, Surveillance, Tracking and Engagement Radar (FORESTER). The tests, conducted at Fort Stewart, Ga., validated the radar-carrying A160T's flight characteristics with more than 50 hours of flying time.
FORESTER is being developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Army to provide enhanced coverage of moving vehicles and dismounted troops under foliage, filling the current surveillance gap. The Fort Stewart tests were conducted under a contract with DARPA.
"The success of these test flights points to the operational readiness of this important capability," said Vic Sweberg, director of Unmanned Airborne Systems (UAS) for Boeing. "The FORESTER is a unique radar, and the A160T is a unique helicopter. Together, they make a formidable system."
The 53 flight hours at Fort Stewart pushed the total flight hours for the A160T past the 220-hour mark. The helicopter's longest flight at Fort Stewart was 5.8 hours and its average flight time was 4.2 hours.
The A160T is a turbine-powered unmanned helicopter that can perform numerous missions, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, communications, and precision resupply. It holds the world record for endurance for its class (more than 18 hours unrefueled), can hover at 20,000 feet and can carry up to 2,500 pounds of cargo.
The Hummingbird recently was selected to participate in the U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory's Immediate Cargo Unmanned Aerial System Demonstration Program. Boeing will demonstrate that the A160T can deliver at least 2,500 pounds of cargo from one simulated forward-operating base to another in fewer than six hours per day for three consecutive days.
The goal of Boeing's UAS division is to provide access to a breadth of unmanned capabilities in a way that best meets customers' needs. Boeing currently offers a wide variety of unmanned aircraft systems, including the A160 Hummingbird, ScanEagle, Unmanned Little Bird and SolarEagle.
http://boeing.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=43&item=1119Boeing A160T Proves Resupply Capability for US Marines
The Boeing A160T Hummingbird has successfully completed a cargo delivery demonstration under a U.S. Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory contract, proving the unmanned rotorcraft's ability to resupply frontline troops in rough terrain. The Hummingbird met or exceeded all of the demonstration requirements during the tests, conducted March 9 - March 11 at the U.S. Army's Dugway Proving Ground in Utah.
Boeing showed that the A160T can deliver at least 2,500 pounds of cargo from one simulated forward-operating base to another 75 nautical miles away in well under the required six hours. The simulated mission carried 1,250-pound sling loads over two 150-nautical-mile round trips, with the A160T operating autonomously on a preprogrammed mission.
"The Hummingbird's performance was outstanding, as we had expected," said Vic Sweberg, director of Unmanned Aerial Systems for Boeing Military Aircraft. "The A160T's capabilities can fulfill our customer's near-term need for 24/7, reliable cargo resupply. It also provides unmatched flexibility to carry out a variety of other missions, including intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; target acquisition; direct action; and communication relay."
The A160T completed seven test flights during the demonstration, including a two-minute hover at 12,000 feet with the 1,250-pound sling load, and a nighttime delivery to a simulated forward operating base. The A160T's ability to execute extremely accurate autonomous deliveries also was demonstrated.
The A160T has a 2,500-pound payload capacity. It features a unique optimum-speed-rotor technology that significantly improves overall performance efficiency by adjusting the rotor's speed at different altitudes, gross weights and cruise speeds. The autonomous unmanned aircraft, measuring 35 feet long with a 36-foot rotor diameter, has hovered at 20,000 feet and cruised at more than 140 knots. The A160T established a world endurance record in its class in 2008 with an 18.7-hour unrefueled flight.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.