Boeing MQ-25 Unmanned Aerial Refueller Completes First Test Flight 21 September, 2019

Boeing and the U.S. Navy on Sept. 19 successfully completed the first test flight of the MQ-25 unmanned aerial refueller, according to a company release.

The MQ-25 test asset, known as T1, completed the autonomous two-hour flight under the direction of Boeing test pilots operating from a ground control station.

The aircraft completed an autonomous taxi and take-off and then flew a pre-determined route to validate the aircraft’s basic flight functions and operations with the ground control station.

The Boeing-owned test asset is a predecessor to the engineering development model (EDM) aircraft and is being used for early learning and discovery to meet the goals of the Navy’s accelerated acquisition program. Boeing will produce four EDM MQ-25 air vehicles for the Navy under an $805 million contract awarded in August 2018.

The MQ-25 will provide the Navy with a carrier-based unmanned aerial refuelling capability. It will allow for better use of the combat strike fighters currently performing the tanking role and will extend the range of the carrier air wing.

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