Boeing and the U.S. Air Force remotely flew a modified and retired F-16 fighter jet Monday without a pilot inside the cockpit.
This represented the first unmanned QF-16 Full Scale Aerial Target flight and the company has modified six F-16s into the QF-16 configuration, Boeing said Monday.
During the exercise, two Air Force test pilots remotely flew the QF-16 from a ground control station and performed auto takeoff, a set of simulated maneuvers, supersonic flight and an auto land.
“It was a little different to see an F-16 take off without anyone in it, but it was a great flight all the way around,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Ryan Inman, commander of the 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron.
The company intends to start low-rate initial production during its fourth quarter and first production deliveries in 2015.