Details On Loss Of Boeing A160 Helo Sketchy
A small Boeing unmanned helicopter crashed Monday afternoon
during a test flight at the planemaker's Advanced Systems test
facility in Victorville, CA, burning about 1,600 square feet of
ground but causing no injuries.
The A160 Hummingbird impacted terrain in the desert at 1408
local time Monday. Staffers at the control tower at Southern
California Logistics Airport reported the accident to the FAA.
"Boeing was flying an unmanned helicopter ... and it crashed 2.7
miles north of the Victorville airport," said FAA Western Region
Spokesman Ian Gregor. Victorville spokeswoman Yvonne Hester
confirmed it was an A160.
Details of the accident, including anything pointing to a
probable cause, remain unreported.
Initially developed by Frontier Systems, Inc. -- subsequently
bought out by Boeing -- under a DARPA contract, the A160 is an
unmanned helicopter designed to fly 2,500 nautical miles with
endurance in excess of 24 hours. The autonomously-flown helicopter
is 35 feet long with a 36-foot rotor diameter and will fly at an
estimated top speed of 140 knots, and at ceilings of up to 30,000
Boeing added a larger, six-cylinder Subaru engine to the
aircraft, allowing the Hummingbird to carry over 1,000 lbs payload.
As ANN reported, the
company's Phantom Works division successfully completed a 12-hour
test flight of the Hummingbird on October 12, the longest reported
flight to date.
When it enters operational service, the A160 will provide
reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, communication
relay and precision re-supply.